Baw Baw Shire Council is cracking down on illegal dumping, with the practice costing the Council more than $84,000 so far this financial year.
Mayor, Annemarie McCabe said it was alarming and disappointing that the clean up cost of illegal waste dumping in the Shire had significantly increased over the last three years.
“This is a matter that Council takes very seriously,” said Mayor McCabe.
Last month, Council was made aware of an illegal dumping event (pictured) on Hazeldean Road in Ellinbank, which contained potentially high-level contaminants including asbestos and arsenic.
Upon being reported to Council, waste contractors immediately began testing the soil. In the intervening period while awaiting results, even more waste was illegally dumped at the location further contaminating the site, Council said in a statement.
In addition to the negative environmental impact, the cost to ratepayers to remedy this single event was $32,345 – almost half of Council’s allocated $67,200 budget towards addressing illegal dumping this financial year.
“Illegal dumping events like the one seen in Ellinbank have significant financial and environmental impacts for our entire community,” said Mayor McCabe.
“Unfortunately, it’s the 99% of our community who do the right thing that ultimately bear the cost of these illegal acts. We want to do everything we can to ensure unnecessary costs are not passed on to them.”
The Mayor said the Ellinbank incident was emblematic of an increasing trend of illegal waste dumping across the Shire.
Over the past three years, Council’s budget spend on illegally dumped rubbish has increased by 80%, she said.