Friday, February 23, 2024

Fruits of labour bloom for Canterbury Bankstown council staffer

Thirty years ago, a young Canterbury Bankstown Council landscape construction worker, Max Yusuf, planted some trees to green and add life to a Campsie laneway.

Now, Mr Yusuf has returned to the same laneway to help out in a joint beautification project with Council’s Clean City Dumping Prevention team.

Dwarfed by the 10-metre tall jacaranda and flame trees he nurtured all those years ago, Mr Yusuf says he is proud to be part of the program which is aimed at rooting out dumpers.

Dispensary Lane at Campsie has been identified as a hotspot for illegal dumping due to its low visibility and large patches of bare soil.

As part of the laneway beautification, Mr Yusuf laid a series of philodendron xanadu plants and mulch under the existing mature trees, creating a green carpet across the bare soil and transforming the laneway into a brighter and more welcoming space.

“It’s hoped that when people see that the area is neat and well-maintained, they are more inclined to look after it too,” he said.

Surveillance cameras have been installed in the area to catch those doing the wrong thing, while Council Rangers are working with local businesses to better manage their waste. Fairy lights have also been strung over the trees to discourage antisocial behaviour at night.

Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor, Bilal El-Hayek said the project was a simple solution and Council will be looking to roll it out at other locations across the City.

“What was achieved in Dispensary Lane was a fantastic outcome,” Mayor El-Hayek said.

“It brings a drab area to life and is just another means of getting people to think twice before they dump their rubbish.”

Mr Yusuf said it’s rewarding to see his work grow and flourish over the years, and even more so to be utilised for a good cause.

“There are many times I drive past an area and say ‘geez, did I plant that?’”

“It certainly brings you back down to earth as you realise how time has passed and you have aged,” he chuckled.

The project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy initiative, funded from the waste levy.

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