“It’s a disgrace,” says resident as Gungahlin becomes a dumping ground

Michael Weaver 2 July 2020 65
Discarded items in Gungahlin

Cecilia Marshall and some of the items left outside the bins at Gungahlin today. Photo: Greg Marshall.

An area at the back of Big W at Gungahlin has been turned into a dumping ground of discarded items as residents leave mattresses, lounges and bags of clothes near donation bins in the area.

When Gungahlin residents Cecilia Marshall and her husband Greg saw the mess again this morning (17 December), they decided they’d had enough of seeing their suburb turned into a tip.

“This is a problem that has been ongoing for months,” Cecilia told Region Media. “But when I drove up there this morning, it was really bad. People have been dumping lounges, a mattress, a table, and bags and bags of clothes. It’s just a disgrace.”

Cecilia said that as soon as the items are cleaned up, more rubbish takes its place. She said some people are discarding their household rubbish in the bins, which is mixed with donated clothes, toys and items that could be repurposed.

She said commuters are tripping over the rubbish as they make their way to work because people are dumping donatable items instead of using the bins, even though “one of the blue bins down the end was empty”.

“I’ve noticed that people who do the park and ride to work are tripping over the rubbish because it’s spilled on to the paths. Apparently, it was only cleared yesterday, so what’s there today has been dumped overnight.

“It’s only going to get worse after Christmas.”

Cecilia posted her photos and a message of her outrage over the dumped items on the Canberra Notice Board Group on Facebook.

“Residents of Gungahlin, you should be ashamed of yourselves … great way of showing our children how to reduce landfill and look after our community. Shame on you! I’m so disgusted!!”

Cecilia is also the administrator of a Buy Nothing community group in the area and said people don’t realise that what is not collected in the bins goes straight to landfill. The charity then has to pay the tip fees.

“My husband often takes the mattresses and pulls them apart. He takes the wood and makes things from it, and takes the metal to the tip for free,” Cecilia said.

“I’m just angry that there are so many people out there struggling at the moment. Some of those toys and clothes should be going to the Green Shed.

“St Vinnies and Salvos are nearby as well – you’ve just got to knock on the door and they will take some of those things if they can.

“There are already too many kids that don’t get presents for Christmas and yet there are all these discarded toys lying around near the bins.

“People are just lazy.”

The donation bins at Gungahlin on Tuesday morning (17 December). Photo: Cecilia Marshall.

Cecilia and her husband Greg have spent much of today trying to get the mess cleaned up once again.

They have contacted their MP, the Member for Yerrabi, Michael Pettersson, about the problem, and they said he’s been very helpful. They have also made calls to Access Canberra and other organisations to hopefully clean up the mess made by a few individuals.

“This isn’t just happening here at Gungahlin. It’s happening in the suburbs as well. You see fridges left on the nature strip and all kinds of things.

“It just looks horrible. Canberra used to be the clean city but it’s not any more.”

Greg Marshall said the issue points to a lack of education about where people can discard things they no longer want.

He also said many of the discarded items could go to people affected by the bushfires in NSW.

“I don’t generally take items away from the bins because I don’t know if I’m allowed to or not. People don’t understand what services are available and where they can get rid of their stuff for free or cheap, other than taking it to the tip,” Greg said.

“People aren’t aware that if the clothes are left outside the bins, the charity organisation has to discard it. It just ends up in landfill.

“People are losing their whole houses to bushfires, so if there are places where we can donate clothes to help out the victims of the fires, then maybe that would be a better option.”

Greg said he has also linked with Andrew from the G Spot at Gungahlin who is organising a mass donation of items for the bushfire relief effort.

“I’ve always been one of those people who like to recycle as much as possible. I’ve made chairs out of old fence palings.

“The biggest thing is just making sure that people are aware that anything not in the bins is just going to be chucked out to landfill. All of these items are just a waste.”

The donation bins at Gungahlin on Tuesday morning (17 December). Photo: Cecilia Marshall.

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65 Responses to “It’s a disgrace,” says resident as Gungahlin becomes a dumping ground
Paul Waters Paul Waters 3:03 pm 20 Dec 19

it's the council's job to keep it tidy

Shlomi Bonet Shlomi Bonet 6:30 pm 19 Dec 19

Need cctv

Carl Ostermann Carl Ostermann 9:27 pm 18 Dec 19

Once apon a time, the dumps (tips) were free and now the cost to dump your waste is %40 of some peoples income if you think about it using your own mind, you will see the problem and work to fix it in a more rational way

Neica Hall Neica Hall 9:17 pm 18 Dec 19

Well I have been saying for years Gungahlin is a slam, so no surprise.

Julia Ross Julia Ross 5:58 pm 18 Dec 19

CCTV should be installed to catch these disgusting pigs.

thebadtouch thebadtouch 2:11 pm 18 Dec 19

One of the idiosyncrasies of these bins is that if an item is placed in the charity bins, it’s a donation and belongs to the charity. But if an item is placed on the ground outside the bins, it’s rubbish and the charity can’t use it.

In this case, if someone comes along and takes an item from the ground are they ‘stealing’ from a charity or are they picking up rubbish? And if someone takes an item outside the bins, does it really matter, so long as it doesn’t end up in landfill and is put to use in someone’s home?

Phil Hopkins Phil Hopkins 1:04 pm 18 Dec 19

Large council skip bin would help!

Frank Curran Frank Curran 12:29 pm 18 Dec 19

Gift shop for scum bags, stealing from the needy, can't stoop much lower than that

Geoffrey John Randal Geoffrey John Randal 12:26 pm 18 Dec 19

An opportunity to make rubbish pickup more relevant to Gunghalin residents

Woody Brenden Woody Brenden 10:49 am 18 Dec 19

Not uncommon to see people dump their old stuff in nature parks or on the side of the road too. Saw this in O’Connor just the other day. Pile of old clothes, broken TV’s and other garbage. It’s not that difficult to take it to the tip and/or give it to the Green Shed.

Michael McDonald Michael McDonald 10:35 am 18 Dec 19

Gungahlin. A dumping ground. But i repeat myself.... nah, im just kidding.

Hamish Sinclair Hamish Sinclair 9:50 am 18 Dec 19

well at least they're not dumping it in rural areas like most do

Shane Worthington Shane Worthington 8:55 am 18 Dec 19

Becomes a dumping ground?

Brian Ashcroft Brian Ashcroft 8:07 am 18 Dec 19

happens everywhere-conceptually a great idea, but sadly just doesn't work-need a secure drop off

Tijana Delov Tijana Delov 8:02 am 18 Dec 19

I dont agree with pekple dumping at charity bins but we pay soooo much in land rates and land tax in canberra....why doesnt act government do bulk rubbish collection from our homes once or twice a year like some of the other states.

    Anthony Sarri Anthony Sarri 6:22 am 20 Dec 19

    Tijana Delov I totally agree. Melbourne still has big rubbish day twice a year.

Kevin Archbold Kevin Archbold 7:18 am 18 Dec 19

Where ever the charity bins are they will attract dumping

Dana Swift Dana Swift 6:56 am 18 Dec 19

Perhaps it’s time for Canberra to start doing a hard rubbish collection ...

Liz Lyell Liz Lyell 2:13 am 18 Dec 19

People are ridiculous and lazy.

Dony Teller Dony Teller 1:22 am 18 Dec 19

Have we all heard of FREE-CYCLE ?

    Vanessa Palmer Vanessa Palmer 4:21 pm 18 Dec 19

    Dony Teller and the free give away social media sites. 🙂

    Dony Teller Dony Teller 10:27 pm 18 Dec 19

    I only know of freecycle Vanessa... Are there other sites?

    Vanessa Palmer Vanessa Palmer 11:07 pm 18 Dec 19

    Dony Teller buy nothing groups on FB .

    You join ones that are local to you

    Barry Pope Barry Pope 10:00 am 19 Dec 19

    Dony Teller I've never seen her referred to as "Freestyle Vanessa" before. Is that her hip hop name?

James Alan Nguyen James Alan Nguyen 11:13 pm 17 Dec 19

gung ho gungahlin residents putting the bung in bungbahlin

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