A six-month pilot program to combat illegal dumping in the Bundaberg Region has been extended for another year due to its success.
Bundaberg Regional Council was one of four Councils selected to participate in the roll-out of a Queensland Government trial in September following the introduction of the new state waste levy.
Council’s portfolio spokesperson, Cr May Mitchell, said the success of the program had led to the state government providing funds to continue employing two illegal dumping officers until March 2021.
“The project’s success is due to a number of reasons,” she said.
“Our illegal dumping officers have done a great job patrolling the region and together with reports received from the public and our own Council staff, this has resulted in a total collection of 500,000 litres of dumped rubbish.
“We urge more people to report illegal dumping, whether it’s through Council’s Snap Send Solve app, website or customer call centre.
“Snap, Send, Solve has been really helpful as it gives us a more accurate location, which saves time.
“As a cyclist using roads in quieter areas which are often the site of illegal dumping I’ve witnessed the result of illegal dumping and used Snap Send Solve to lodge reports and it’s easy and effective.”
Cr Mitchell said quite often when rubbish is sighted, especially on a busy road, people will see it but not report it.
“The most likely reason is that they think someone else has already contacted Council. That’s not always the case,” she said.
Illegal dumping costs Council and ratepayers a significant amount of money and to help reduce those costs, Council’s existing staff in Civil Works and Parks and Gardens are utilised to clear the dumped rubbish.
“This has saved Council $30,000 in collection fees,” Cr Mitchell said.
“Unfortunately, this can’t be said for the costs met by Council when having to dispose of the collected rubbish.
“Because we can’t always be sure if the waste contains hazardous substances, the higher disposal fee for those materials costs Council a lot more.”
Cr Mitchell explained the illegal dumping officers are highly trained and have effective methods of tracing rubbish back to those responsible.
“A few offenders have cleaned up the rubbish when contacted, but the majority don’t and it’s left to Council to meet the costs,” she said.
“The types of rubbish we encounter varies from white goods, green waste, tyres and household waste.
“We’re even noticing people are dumping cans and bottles instead of recycling through the container refund scheme.”
Cr Mitchell said not wanting to pay waste facility fees is no excuse for dumping rubbish.
“At the waste facility many things can be recycled and some items are free to dump like televisions and steel,” she said.
“Council has increased its signage around the region, warning of increased surveillance and illegal dumping fines of over $2000.”
The Department of Environment and Science has recently granted Bundaberg Regional Council a further grant of $43,000 to target illegal dumping hot spots.
During the six month pilot project:
- Total illegal dumping reports: 155
- Volume collected: 500,000 litres
- Fines issued: $17,800
- Dump locations:
- Natural areas 40
- Recreational areas 22
- Roadways 41
- Residential 35
- Agricultural land 6
- Other 7
- Top three suburbs: Rubyanna, Booyal, Bundaberg East
- More illegal dumping news