ILLEGAL dumping has become rife in Wallan, with Mitchell Shire Council urging residents to ‘dob in a dumper’.
Rubbish is being dumped on Old Sydney Road faster than council can clean it up, with piles of clothes, mattresses and rubbish bags found at various points along the roadside between Darraweit Road and Donnybrook Road.
Wallan Environment Group president Claudia James said she often saw garbage on the side of the road as she travelled along Old Sydney Road.
“There has always been a problem. Probably over 10 years ago, we had a Clean Up Australia Day along Old Sydney Road and we had trailers of rubbish and even found a fibreglass swimming pool in the bushes,” she said.
“It’s getting worse. Before, people used to hide it and you didn’t notice it so much but now it’s just blatant.”
Rubbish is frequently blown into Ms James’ front yard after being thrown from passing cars or dumped at a nearby road base deposit area.
Mitchell Shire Council spends more than $100,000 every year cleaning and disposing of illegally dumped waste.
If caught, offenders can receive an on-the-spot fine of more than $300 while illegal dumping can attract a maximum court penalty of $610,700 or seven years’ imprisonment for an individual.
Corporations can also be penalised with fines of more than $1.2 million.
Council is calling on the community to provide any information on illegal dumping or to dob in a dumper.
Tips for dobbing in a dumper include getting to know their area, looking for cars towing trailers full of rubbish around remote areas, and taking pictures of number plates or cars.
Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said it was disappointing to see people continue to dump rubbish no matter what the community was going through.
“It is disappointing when our staff need to be investigating illegal dumpers who have no regard for others or the impacts they can cause on our community and environment,” he said.
“In many cases illegally dumped rubbish could have been sent to our resource and recovery centres for free. If in doubt and you want to throw it out, give us a call to see the best way to dispose of household waste.”
Mitchell Shire Council encourages residents with information on dumped rubbish to call council on 5734 6200.
People can also report illegal dumping to Environment Protection Agency Victoria by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).