9 August 2019

Over 1,150 reports of illegal dumping trashing the territory

| Lachlan Roberts
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A dilapidated couch on the side of the road at Mugga Way. Photos: Region Media.

Access Canberra has received over 1,150 reports of illegal dumping this year, as city rangers attempt to keep popular dumping sites Mugga Way and Majura Parkway from becoming eyesores.

Between 1 January and 31 July, Access Canberra received 1,178 reports of illegal dumping, with 216 incidents referred to the Transport Canberra and City Services for investigation.

In 2017-18 there were less than 800 reports of illegal dumping incidents, costing Transport Canberra and City Services $2 million to clean up.

A spokesperson said Transport Canberra and City Services believes the rise in illegal dumping reports is due to the roll-out of the Report Illegal Dumping signage and increased awareness in the community.

Illegal dumping includes leaving rubbish beside your household wheelie bin, leaving items beside public bins or charity hoppers, dropping litter and dumping large items on pathways, in parks, waterways, or on suburban streets.

The TCCS spokesperson said six new compliance officers have joined the city ranger team targeting littering and illegal dumping in the community.

“These officers install and monitor movable covert digital cameras to capture illegal dumping and hold those responsible accountable,” the spokesperson said. “Recently, officers have been undertaking targeted compliance activities across Canberra at known illegal dumping sites, including Mugga Way.”

Current fines for illegal dumping range from $1,000 for individuals and from $5,000 for businesses.

According to Transport Canberra and City Services, isolated rural areas are popular dumping spots for people who won’t take their waste to the tip, with hot spots including the Monaro Highway, Flemington Road, Barton Highway, Majura Parkway and sections of the Gungahlin Drive Extension.

TCCS said littering hot spots include skate parks, bus stops or near fast food outlets.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel tabled new littering and illegal dumping laws in the ACT Legislative Assembly in June this year, which will use CCTV footage of dumping as evidence for issuing fines.

Mr Steel said that using vehicle registration details to identify people who are illegally dumping will also enable infringement notices to be issued easily, similar to speeding fines.

“CCTV is increasingly being used to monitor areas known for dumping in the ACT and at other public areas, such as recycling centres and schools, and the Government will use this evidence to issue fines,” Mr Steel said in June.

“Under these laws, if you litter from or near a vehicle, it will be up to the vehicle owner to explain who pays the fine.”

Mr Steel said Transport Canberra and City Services will increase the use of surveillance and awareness activities to stop Canberra from becoming a wasteland.

“The ACT Government is aware of the impact of illegal dumping and littering on the amenity, safety and environmental values of our city,” Mr Steel said.

“TCCS is working with other directorates to tackle this issue in a variety of ways, including regulatory reform, increased use of surveillance and data gathering, education and awareness activities and targeted enforcement actions.

“The ACT Government is committed to ensuring the public follows the laws. If you don’t do the right thing you are at risk of receiving an on the spot fine.”

People who witness illegal dumping, including dumping around charity bins, are urged to call Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or online via Fix My Street.

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Doris Andrews. I recently had someone dump a bunch of garbage bags filled with party waste (bottles, disposible plates etc) on my front lawn. I rang the local police station for advice on what to do with it as I couldnt afford to dump it legally, and was advised to find an ACT Housing hopper and put in in there. I ended up using the hoppers at the old Reid flats before it was demolished.

Capital Retro8:54 am 13 Aug 19

People on low incomes (like me) can “optimise” their domestic garbage service by making sure it is full every pickup day. Stuff that is too big to fit in the bin can be “subdivided” or “deconstructed”. If you have too much garbage one week hold over some until the next week.
You will be amazed just how much space there is available with a bit of planning and management.

Am I missing something here? Whenever I’ve gone to the tip it has been free. I’ve never been charged for anything I’ve had to dump. At Mugga Lane there is the Green Shed which usually takes anything else. Is it just slackness – not wishing to drive a bit longer to the tip – or is there some other reason?

Capital Retro8:40 am 12 Aug 19

The Green Shed at MLRMC have become very selective so sometimes you have to go the extra 100 metres to the domestic garbage drop off point and pay a minimum of about $15 to get rid of it. TV’s/computers are still free but tyres and mattresses cost.

Capital Retro7:11 pm 10 Aug 19

I think problem prone Access Canberra are incorrectly reporting Mugga Way instead of Mugga Lane as a popular illegal dumping destination. Mugga Lane is of course the main access road to the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre (what a stupid name).

The other access road is Long Gully Road which is also a regular drop off point for rubbish – some deliberately dumped and some falling from unsecured loads- and stolen cars etc. yet it doesn’t even get a mention.

These are going to be the rarely cleaned, rubbish strewn access roads to the new southern cemetery (incorporating natural burials) and crematorium. These same roads carry hundreds of heavy truck movements daily together with thousands of commuters who use the roads as a connector between the Monaro Highway and Erindale/Yamba Drive.

What a dumb siting choice that was given the visual aesthetics and the dust, noise and odours from the MLRMC which is Canberra’s biggest permanent industrial complex in the ACT yet politicians from all side of our Legislative Assembly who have probably never even been there approved it. I would love to see the information they were given by the planners.

Anyone with any common sense can see that the environs there are not conducive to the establishment of a resting place for the departed and their grieving families and friends attending the burial/cremation.

I’ll even say it that the we are being treated with contempt as no one in the community has been consulted. I for one would be embarrassed to expect my family and friends to attend my funeral there, easier to dump me with the other rubbish along the roads there.

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