A FATHER-SON fishing trip on the Murrumbidgee River has left a Wagga resident fed-up at the disgusting mess illegal dumpers have left behind.
Adam Fisher and his son Zaid found an abandoned car, washing machines, plastic tarps and tin sheeting scattered across one of the city's reserves and in the river. He said the problem was "out of hand", with receding water levels exposing the dangerous materials lurking beneath the surface.
"It is just a pigsty," he said.
"Something needs to be done otherwise it will become too dangerous to swim in. Going out there now it's that low that you can see the amount of rubbish dumped in there. Washing machines and dryers, it is all rusted and sharp materials."
In other news:
It was a sight that he said "broke his heart" after spending most of his childhood swimming in the river near Forest Hill.
Mr Fisher said the community needs to take ownership and report those found dumping rubbish illegally in these reserves.
He also suggested the council should consider reducing its tip fees, believing the cost of legally disposing of waste was part of the problem. "I want to see tougher penalties enforced and the community to report those dumping rubbish," he said.
"But, if the tips are free then obviously no one is going to illegally dump rubbish."
Wagga City Council has found remote locations such reserves and quiet back roads were hotspots for illegal dumping.
The council's community director Janice Summerhayes said she encourages residents to use the hard waste collection service to dispose of larger household items that cannot be done through the regular kerbside collection.
She said those residents paying for the domestic waste management service could access one free hard waste collection per year to dispose of up to two cubic metres of hard waste.
Ms Summerhayes said illegal dumping comes at a cost to the community when the council's staff and machinery were diverted to clean-up and dispose of rubbish correctly.
However, there are restrictions on the type of items collected by the council's service, including mattresses, bricks, dirt and white goods such as fridges, freezers and washing machines.
These items need to be taken directly to the tip where a fee applies.