Mitchell Shire leaders have condemned the practice of rubbish dumping after a Beveridge man was found guilty of aggravated littering and failure to remove litter last month.
The man was caught on Mitchell Shire Council CCTV cameras on November 3 last year, when he and another man unloaded a trailer full of rubbish on the side of Old Sydney Road before driving away.
The Seymour Magistrates’ Court found the man guilty after he failed to appear at court, issuing a fine of $2127.40.
Illegal rubbish dumping costs Mitchell Shire Council more than $180,000 annually.
Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said illegal rubbish dumping and littering could cause significant environmental issues including land contamination, pollution of waterways, increased fire risk and harm to wildlife and their habitats.
“We take a strong stance on illegal dumping because not only does it have the potential to destroy the natural beauty of our local environment, but also because everyone has to foot the bill for other people’s waste,” she said.
“If you see something, say something. Everyone has a role to play in reducing illegal dumping, from ensuring their waste is disposed of legally to reporting people that they notice leaving waste in the local area.
“Council takes any illegal dumping seriously. If you get caught dumping litter within our municipality you will end up in court.”
Council chief executive Brett Luxford said the Beveridge man’s prosecution showed rubbish dumping was taken seriously.
“Rest assured that we’re working hard to catch illegal dumpers of any kind. It doesn’t matter if you are a resident, a business or a visitor, you cannot leave your rubbish in our community,” he said.
“We have placed a number of CCTV cameras across our entire community – you will be caught.”We will continue our efforts to ensure our community remains a healthy, connected and sustainable place to live.”
Mr Luxford said council was working in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, to curb illegal dumping in the shire, and late last year announced it would consider hard rubbish collection.
Council’s resource recovery centres accept many items free of charge including e-waste, car batteries, cardboard, gas bottles, foam and fluorescent globes.
Ratepayers receive five barcoded vouchers on their first rates notice each year that can be used at the resource recovery centres.
People can report illegally dumped waste by using the report an issue online form at www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au, calling council on 5734 6200 or contacting the EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).