Almost every day, a fresh case of illegal dumping is reported to council, prompting a call for harsher penalties.
While Wagga City Council is hosting a “free tip day” on Sunday, people continue to dump unwanted household goods in nature reserves and on footpaths across the city.
Longtime anti-dumper Daryl Kay said it was time the full weight of the law was brought to bear on the litterbugs.
“Catching them and fining them is definitely the way to go, but some just get a slap on the wrist when they get caught,” Mr Kay said. “It’s quite depressing at times when you try to go for a nice walk along the river, something that’s supposed to be enjoyable, and you come across this junk just laying around for who knows how long. Where I walk the dog, there’s a car out in the middle of the river, people have been camping and they just drag mattresses and folding chairs onto a fire when they’re done, it’s just disgusting.”
Wagga City Council environmental education officer Samantha Parsell said a 12-month trial campaign designed to reduce illegal kerbside dumping would kick off at the end of the month.
“The ‘Don’t Dump its Dumb’ campaign is funded with a $62,500 grant from the NSW Environmental Protection Agency as part of a statewide push to combat illegal kerbside dumping,” Ms Parsell said. “Dumping rubbish or unwanted goods in reserves, along roadsides or anywhere that isn’t an approved rubbish or recycling centre is a fineable offence. Three areas in Kooringal, Tolland and Ashmont are identified as hotspots… well-known dumping sites for unwanted household goods including furniture, mattresses and clothes.”
In addition to the targeted campaign, council also received a $39,095 grant from the EPA to target litter spilling out of uncovered loads travelling to the Gregadoo Waste Management Centre.
Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire congratulated council for its anti-dumping initiatives.
“The NSW government is working with councils to tackle unsightly and sometimes dangerous dumped waste,” he said. “These grants support councils and public land managers to clean up dumped waste, target hotspots with preventative measures and increase community awareness about dumping.”
For more information about council’s free tip day, visit www.wagga.nsw.gov.au.