By Casey Neill
Rubbish dumpers should face tougher penalties, says Greater Dandenong Council.
It’s advocating for increases in fines and more money to fight dumping in a bid to clean up its streets.
The Journal reached out to the council on the issue following a call from Dandenong resident Adam Kukic.
“People just don’t care,” he said.
“I’m just frustrated.
“There’s one pile of rubbish which I reckon has been there for more than three weeks.”
Mr Kukic said he was “ashamed” to see piles of rubbish on Clow Street while attending Dandenong’s Anzac Day march.
He said the problem was prevalent outside blocks of flats and put it down to people regularly moving in and out.
“I used to work at a tip. I understand that the fees are just ridiculous,” he said.
“But we do have one pick-up a year which people should utilise.”
Greater Dandenong Council’s engineering services director, Julie Reid, said dumped rubbish was a problem across metropolitan Melbourne and that local and state governments were working to address it.
She said high disposal costs and low penalties for doing the wrong thing were driving the behaviour.
“The City of Greater Dandenong is advocating, along with other metropolitan councils, for the use of the EPA levy, which is paid at landfill, to be reinvested in the fight against rubbish dumping,” she said.
“We are also advocating for the introduction of higher penalties.”
Ms Reid said the council had put a number of initiatives in place to address dumped rubbish, including introducing a dedicated property liaison officer that deals with real estate agents, body corporates and other tenanted property agents.
“Part of this role will be educating the public about dumped rubbish and booking hard waste collections,” she said.
Ms Reid said a proactive dumped rubbish collection service concentrated on ‘hot spots’ within the municipality.
Almost 1000 cars attended a pop-up drive-through recycling day in February, and the council will hold another at Greaves Reserve on Saturday 30 June.
“Council asks that all residents continue to report dumped rubbish, as this will assist in targeting areas of the community that require education and will help local laws investigate the rubbish and find the people responsible for the dumping,” she said.
“Reporting also allows our ‘hot spots’ crew to attend and remove the rubbish as soon as possible if they cannot identify the person responsible for the dumping.”