Dumpers fined

A SUSTAINED campaign by Wellington Shire Council’s litter prevention and local laws officers to catch illegal dumpers and litterers has resulted in a number of prosecutions.

Most Wellington shire residents respect the landscape and public spaces, however, a minority of unthinking people, and others deliberately setting out to break the law, dump waste and litter.

Clean up of illegal dumping costs Wellington rate payers tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Illegal dumping and litter includes cigarette butts and rubbish thrown from cars or dropped by pedestrians; misuse of public rubbish bins; dumped household and commercial garbage; hard waste and green waste; building and demolition rubble; and escaped waste from unsecured vehicle loads.

Council officers employ a variety of means to identify and catch offenders such as reports from the public, patrols, surveillance and cameras.

Offenders are issued with notices to provide information and clean up their waste. Most offenders co-operate, but failure to comply results in fines and bills to cover clean up costs. Fines range from $282 and up to $6000 if taken to court.

Mayor Scott Rossetti said people considering dumping their rubbish should know that it was more than likely they would be caught.

“The fines incurred far outweigh the costs of taking the rubbish to a transfer station,” he said.

Recent examples include a man fined $122 for littering in Dargo; a Sale man fined $330 at court after failing to pay his fine; a Melbourne man and a Sale woman each fined $282 for dumping rubbish outside transfer stations in Seaspray and Sale; a man fined $564 for dumping green waste on a Cobains roadside on two separate occasions; a Sale man fined $282 for rubbish blowing off his trailer on the way to Kilmany Resource Recovery Centre; and a Sale man fined $282 and ordered to pay clean up costs of $195.

“You can reduce your tip fees by sorting and separating your household and green waste before taking it to the transfer station,” Cr Rossetti said.

“Many recyclables are free to drop off, and green waste attracts a lower fee. TVs and computers can be dropped off at Kilmany Resource Recovery Centre for free.

“The more people are on the lookout for, and actively reporting, dumped waste, the better chance we have of identifying and stopping offenders. Remember to take down the car registration number and any other relevant details.”

Since November 2012, council has received 161 calls from people reporting illegal dumping and littering.

Report dumping hotspots and illegal dumpers to the Wellington Shire Council by phoning 1300 366 244.

Cigarette butts and rubbish thrown from moving vehicles should be reported to the EPA Litter Hotline on 1300 372 842, download the free EPA Report Litter app for iPhones, or report litter at the EPA website www.epa.vic.gov.au