Friday, July 8, 2022

Council turns tide on trolley dumpers

Ipswich City Council has removed around 30 shopping trolleys in a cleanup blitz on Bremer River.

Following several community requests and complaints about the number of shopping trolleys accumulating in the Bremer River below the bridge at Riverlink, council engaged a river clean-up crew to remove all of the metal monsters from the water in December.

In just one day, 30 trolleys were plucked out of the river and off the muddy banks. The on-going blitz is being conducted in partnership with Healthy Land and Water.

Council’s Environment and Sustainability Committee Chair, Cr Russell Milligan said council had identified the shopping trolleys accumulating in the Bremer River to be a growing issue, despite increasing security measures being undertaken by retailers of the area.

“Council’s appreciation for the health and cleanliness of our river is shared by local residents, with significant concern expressed from community members about trolleys being dumped into the river,” he said.

“While rivers like the Bremer are a state-owned asset, council takes the responsibility of rubbish removal for the benefit of the environment and community, despite not being obliged to do so.

“Abandoned shopping trolleys reduce the amenity of the local area, can cause safety hazards and damage the environment, especially if they end up in waterways.

“Council currently has a significant focus on investment in improving our waterways and has commissioned a clean-up program to remove these trolleys, along with any other rubbish encountered throughout the river.

Cr Milligan said the dumping of trolleys and rubbish into the river is an on-going issue, and we asked for community support in discouraging these actions.

Security cameras and CCTV operate 24 hours throughout the Riverlink and Bradfield bridge areas

It is illegal for a person to remove a shopping trolley from a retail premises and on-the-spot fines of more than $260 can be issued to a person who takes or leaves a shopping trolley outside of the retail premises

“Council can seize trolleys and does so if required. There have been no changes to council’s approach to managing abandoned trolleys,” he said.

“Council officers continue to respond to service requests regarding abandoned trolleys, engaging retailers and their trolley collection contractors to achieve the best outcome and recovery of the trolleys.

“Over the past 12 months, council has collected 34 trolleys. These are currently impounded at a council depot and relevant retailers have been advised via an impoundment notice.”

Healthy Land and Water CEO, Julie McLellan said the partnership was important to help mitigate the impacts of litter on waterway health.

“By collecting floating and bank-bound litter from the Bremer River, we not only immediately improve the local amenity of this well-loved river, but we also remove this pollutant from out of the waterway, ensuring that it does not cause harm to wildlife or impede the flow of the river,” Ms McLellan said.

“Dumped shopping trolleys are a significant hazard when they end up in our waterways, and we urge people to consider the negative impacts that dumping litter in waterways has on the health and wellbeing of the river itself, and also on the communities that these important natural assets flow through.”

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