ILLEGAL rubbish dumpers are costing Colac Otway Shire ratepayers almost $35,000 a year.
People dumping household goods, and trailer or ute loads of rubbish across the shire are responsible for taking shire council staff away from work to clean up their mess every week.
Residents and ratepayers are also angry about increasing illegal rubbish dumping and the council is calling on people to report dumpers to police or the council’s local laws team.
Elliminyt resident Ros Smith said people regularly dumped rubbish along Christies Road and the latest pile to appear on the roadside near Colac Pony Club included garden waste, old tyres, a hose, empty bottles and a bike.
“I’m fed up with it,” Mrs Smith said.
“Someone has come out and dumped a trailer load opposite the pony club and now someone from the council will have to come out and pick it up.
“I walk along the road regularly and I’ve had to report rubbish dumped along there before.
“When you have to drive past every day and look at it; it’s dreadful,” she said.
“It’s just on the side of the road and if you were walking or driving and met another car on the crest of the hill it would be dangerous as well.”
Council chief Sue Wilkinson said council crews collected an average of a load of rubbish a week from roadsides.
“Rubbish dumping is irresponsible, harmful to the environment, and shows a blatant disregard for the wider community,” Ms Wilkinson said.
“Last year illegally dumped rubbish cost ratepayers more than $34,000 in staff time and disposal costs,” she said.
“In addition, council crews have to be taken away from planned work to deal with the rubbish.”
Ms Wilkinson said rubbish collected from roadsides and public land included bikes, TVs, old lounge suites, mattresses, household rubbish and garden waste.
“Anyone caught dumping rubbish, or who can be identified through the items disposed, faces a fine of more than $1700,” she said.
“There are a number of options for disposing of old and unwanted items, including taking them to any of the council transfer stations at Alvie, Birregurra and Apollo Bay.
“Mattresses can be taken to the recycling section for a reduced cost.
“Residents are also encouraged to look at other options for disposal including local scrap metal merchants, particularly for white goods, or even second-hand stores or selling items online if they are still in good condition,” Ms Wilkinson said.
“If residents don’t have a trailer and are cleaning out the garage or shed, people can also contact local waste contractors for assistance with disposal options, which include skip bins for hire and disposal or stow bags.”