The City removes dumped rubbish from public areas more than 4,000 times a year, using small duty trucks. Given the limited size of the vehicles, crews are often forced to take multiple trips to the one site and call on a front-end loader to help pick up larger items.
To address this, Council has allocated $410,000 in its Proposed Budget 2021-22 to purchase a fit-for-purpose truck and support a dedicated employee for the job.
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said Council was committed to reducing the incidence of illegal dumping and its impact.
“We know that our community values and takes pride in our beautiful region and we’re all disappointed when rubbish is dumped, creating an eyesore and in many cases, a health and safety issue,” said Asher. “This investment will provide our crews with the right equipment to respond more quickly and efficiently to clear away the rubbish and restore the location to its original condition.”
The City Works team will run a trial on the preferred vehicle in coming weeks, before committing to any purchase from July.
Cr Anthony Aitken, Chair, City Works, Parks and Gardens portfolio said dumped rubbish was a huge financial burden on the Council’s bottom line.
“This proposed purchase is a direct response to the increasing amount of dumped rubbish in Greater Geelong,” he said. “The volumes are now such that we need to purchase dedicated fleet and have a dedicated team working every single day to respond to community calls to pick up dumped rubbish. Our costs in responding to this illegal activity are growing and they will top $1 million this financial year. We can curb these costs by cutting the amount of time we spend cleaning up dumped rubbish sites and transporting the material to resource recovery centres. This is where the proposed fit-for-purpose truck and staff member can be so valuable.”
Residents are urged to access the hard waste collection service, which allows households to recycle or dispose of their bulky items, including mattresses, without charge twice each financial year.
The initiative is well supported, with 22,678 requests for hard waste collection from 1 December 2019 to 1 December 2020.
As well as hard waste collections at their home, residents can freely dispose of white goods, paint, scrap metals, oils, car batteries, BBQ gas cylinders, televisions, computers equipment and excess recycling at one of our Drysdale or Geelong resource recovery centres.
We urge people to report anyone seen dumping rubbish to the EPA’s 24-hour hotline: 1300 372 842, along with details like a licence plate. The dumping of rubbish illegally is a criminal offence and significant fines apply.