Bundaberg Regional Council’s participation in a successful pilot program has reduced illegal dumping incidents across the region but continued violations remain a concern.
Last year Council received 292 reports of illegal dumping incidents, resulting in 436,351 litres (almost 2000 full wheelie bins) of waste being removed from the environment.
Council’s portfolio spokesperson Cr May Mitchell said it was important that members of the community continued to report illegal dumping incidents quickly so offenders could be identified, and waste removed before it was added to and became a greater eyesore.
“Unfortunately, people often see illegally dumped waste in their travels and assume that it has already been reported, but often this is not the case,” Cr Mitchell said.
“In 2020 Council had 54 successful compliance outcomes, including issuing almost $29,000 in fines.”
Cr Mitchell said an illegal dumping fine was more than $2000 and it only cost $17 to deliver a ute load of waste at Council waste facilities.
“Illegal dumping is ruining our environment and being caught puts a big dint in dumpers’ hip pockets,” she said.
“For minor offences, Council issues littering fines of $266 and requires offenders to clean the entire site where they dumped their rubbish, email through a before-and-after photo of the clean-up and provide the receipt from the waste facility to show it was disposed of properly.”
Council statistics show that 33 per cent of dumping is done in the region’s natural areas, second only to roadways (38 per cent).
Other instances were recorded in residential areas (11 per cent), recreational areas (five per cent) and on agricultural land (four per cent).
The suburbs most impacted by illegal dumping were Kalkie, Kensington and Bundaberg North.
Cr Mitchell said the Queensland Government’s Local Government Illegal Dumping Hotspot Grants Program enabled Council to employ two full-time officers dedicated to combatting illegal dumping.
“Participation in the pilot program has helped Council identify dumpers with some known dump sites now being rubbish free, but there is still a long way to go,” she said.
“Council has introduced some innovative approaches to tackling illegal dumping and is hopeful that the Illegal Dumping Hotspot Grants Program will be continued.”
This project is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.