Almost 1300 cases of illegally dumped rubbish and household goods in Brisbane show the mess left since the Brisbane City Council cancelled kerbside collections almost a year ago, the Labor opposition says.
The council cancelled kerbside collections in April 2020 for two years to reduce risk to its staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Waste management groups say the decision could lead to an increase in illegal dumping.
Council has put CCTV cameras in known illegal dumping sites and in the past six months issued 100 infringement notices for illegal dumping, totalling $235,518 in fines.
At Tuesday’s council meeting the suburbs where illegally dumped material has been collected since last April was made public.
It showed 1289 cases of illegal dumping in Brisbane suburbs since, with the most frequent cases at Inala (74), Doolandella (36), Forest Lake (35) and Calamvale (29).
Forest Lake ward councillor Charles Strunk – who represents parts of Inala, Doolandella and Forest Lake – said few of his residents owned a trailer, many rented their homes and most relied on the council’s cancelled kerbside collection.
“They don’t have space to store the trailers because the blocks are so small.
“Cancelling kerbside collection has been a major, major thing for us.”
Cr Strunk said most council offices now had staff members phoning the council’s waste collection staff to come out and collect illegally dumped materials.
He said in Inala people dumped in spaces that “were hidden away”.
After the council cancelled kerbside collection, it gave 10 dump vouchers to people who rent.
“First of all, they [renters] have only recently been given dump vouchers,” Cr Shrunk said.
“The comments made by Labor councillor Charles Strunk are politically motivated and factually incorrect.
“An extra booklet of 200 waste vouchers has already been given to the Forest Lake [council office], so they have been issued 400 vouchers since July 1, 2020. There simply is no shortage of waste vouchers.”
Cr Marx said kerbside collection were not cancelled but on hold.
“They will return when it is economically viable to do so.”
But Cr Strunk said kerbside collection should return now.
“I think if you asked anyone on the street, they would say yes, it’s time they came back.”
Fines issued per financial year
- In the 2019-20 financial year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) council issued 169 infringement notices for illegal dumping, totalling $374,451 in fines.
- In the 2020-21 financial year to date (July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021) council issued 100 infringement notices for illegal dumping, totalling $235,518 in fines.
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