By Gabriella Payne
Keysborough residents are furious at mysterious piles of rubbish that regularly appear on the corner of Chapel Road and Donicci Drive – and they’re pleading for the council to put a stop to the illegal dumping.
According to Keysborough resident Domenic Boccari, who drives past the site everyday on his way to work, all sorts of items have been appearing multiple times a week, creating an eyesore in the neighbourhood and a hazard that Greater Dandenong City Council are forced to clean up, at a cost to ratepayers.
Mr Bocarri said while he had noticed the dumping going on prior to Covid, it had become more frequent during lockdown. He added that he believes the dumping is “wrong”.
“There have been paint cans, cupboards, ironing boards, chairs – everything, you name it. They’re throwing everything out at this point except the kitchen sink,” he said.
Mr Boccari has contacted the council multiple times in order to put a stop to this mysterious dumping, but feels nothing is being done at this stage to prevent the culprits from continuing to litter the streets.
“I think this week I’ve seen it happen at least two or three times already,” he said. “The council is coming out here regularly to pick up the illegally dumped rubbish and they’re not doing anything about stopping it, and that’s coming at a cost to the residents and we can’t have that.”
City of Greater Dandenong director of city planning, design and amenity, Jody Bosman, said that the open, grassy site on the corner of Chapel Road and Donicci Drive where the illegal dumping is occurring is regularly cleaned up by the council.
“Chapel Road is part of the council’s proactive, illegally dumped rubbish collection program known as our Hotspots program,” Ms Bosman said.
Ms Bosman said that the site “is scheduled to be serviced weekly”, adding that Donicci Drive did not feature in the ‘Hotspots’ program “due to the low number of incidences” that occur there.
“Our locations in the Hotspots program are reviewed annually to ensure that any sites with regular illegal dumping are captured and proactively serviced accordingly,” she said.
But Mr Boccari said that he has contacted the council many times about this issue, even raising it at council meetings and suggesting ways of addressing the problem, to no avail.
“I have always kept [chief executive of the council] John Bennie in the loop with this illegal dumping and I’ve always kept some of the other councillors in the loop with this illegal dumping, and they’ve really done nothing about it, it’s just not good enough,” Mr Bonacci said.
“My biggest concern is that we don’t want our streets used as dumping grounds. We’ve all got the opportunity to ring council and organise a rubbish pick up, that’s what I do and everyone needs to do the right thing.”
Mr Bonacci said he has been asked to submit a written statement and told that the council are currently investigating his complaints, but believes this is a “waste of time and money”.
“It’s not a murder, it’s just a simple thing,” he said.
“Just put the ‘no dumping’ sign up on a post in that spot and then see what happens – that way people will start to realise that ‘hey, the council’s onto us’.”
Ms Bosman stated that the council is looking into the matter, and is “now exploring a range of options to address this, which will carefully consider road and public safety”.
She said that the City of Greater Dandenong Council is “aware of four complaints lodged for dumped waste at this site in 2020” two of which concerned green waste – an increase which means illegal dumping has doubled at this site compared to previous years.
Mr Bonacci urged people to stop dumping rubbish throughout the streets, asking people to “just do it properly”.
“They just need to use the process that the council have got in place, and if they’re going to do a spring clean out, instead of doing it every 3 to 4 days, do it in one hit like everybody else does, and then the council will come along and collect that rubbish at no extra cost.”