Site dumping up in SA

KESAB said about 10% of the material found on a typical SA building site consisted of old fridges, mattresses, green waste and other items illegally dumped by the local community. The group has suggested rising landfill gate fees combined with tough economic times and sub-optimal enforcement of dumping on private property is fuelling the problem.Formerly known as Keep South Australia Beautiful, KESAB is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1966 to resolve litter issues through community education programs.The latest study was conducted as part of the group’s Clean Site building and construction industry education program.“With over 30 per cent of all waste to landfill being generated from the construction and demolition industries, this study looked to identify what materials can be recycled and recovered,” KESAB executive director John Phillips said.“The research highlights the potential to divert over 50,000 tonnes of waste to resources from landfill each year.” He said a key finding was that “limited waste recovery and recycling of construction materials [are] currently undertaken off site”.Other findings include an average 5 tonnes of material generated per site; plasterboard contributed to more than 20% of all materials disposed; bricks contributed 13% while 10% was illegally dumped household waste; 10% cardboard; 10% steel; 8% concrete, 8% timber, 6% plastics and 5% tiles.In comparing brick veneer and timber construction against steel frame and steel roof construction, the study found steel generated less waste.The extent to which builder’s bins are filled with rubbish from the neighbours was the most shocking finding. Clean Site project manager Dick Olesinski pointed out there was no requirement for security fencing on SA building sites, a factor which reduced community waste issues in other states.As well as standard hard waste items, the surveyors also found leftover residuals from harvested marijuana plants, an interesting spin on illegal green waste disposal. One way to reduce the dumping problem, Olesinski suggested, would be for councils to introduce and/or more vigorously promote their hard waste collection services, especially in areas with a lot of new building activity. “It’s taken years to encourage these builders to put waste and recycling bins onsite. Now they’re doing that, the wretched community are just throwing anything and everything in,” he said.“If the illegal dumping is in a public park … [the regulators] might go do something about it, but when it’s on private property these poor builders are dead set copping the extra cost of having to dispose of the community’s waste, and that’s not fair.”

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