Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Who's dumping all this rubbish at the beach?

Over the last few weeks, at least three large truckloads of vegetation cuttings, including palm trees, have been dumped along the coastal beaches, north of Palm Cove.
A CairnsBlog reader sent this photo in today, soon after another truck had dumped it's load overnight. It appears that these are from a commercial operator, due the to significant amount that has been dumped.
"I reckon it was a very large truck that did this last load," Northern Beaches resident Clinton Vollmerhausen said. "There are large trees amongst the dumpings and they are deposited right in the beach car parks. Someone should be prosecuted over this."
Cairns Regional Council does indeed have the ability to fine people for illegal dumping of rubbish, including vegetation waste. To take this waste to the Smithfield or Portsmith tip, it would be probably around $100, or free if it was just prior to Christmas.
What possess people to do such an act of vandalism like this?
Councillor Robert Pyne says that this is a problem for the region. "We need to catch and fine these people," he said. "The public need to be alert and report this, surely someone must seen this happening, if it's done in broad daylight?"
Councillor Pyne says that managing green waste is difficult. "We need to make sure that the dumping charges are not prohibitive enough to discourage people from using Council's services," Robert Pyne says. "It has been discussed to receive green waste for free more often, however that argument presented problems due to overheads and some waste cannot be used. The idea was not supported."
If vegetation comes from Electric Ant infested areas around some Northern Beach communities like Kewarra and Smithfield, it is unsuitable for mulching and has to simply be dumped with the general waste.
I don't know why Cairns Regional Council doesn't adopt a free green waste dumping programme year-round, not just for a week or two prior to Christmas. A massive amount of mulch is required and used from public-dumped waste, and subsequently used on Council gardens and road medium strips across the region.
The former Douglas Shire Council allowed locals to deposit green waste over and extended period without charge, and were also known to give away mulch to the public.
It goes from a proactive Council supporting a green-waste intensive area to simply revenue raising, that encourages nutters to dump there garden cuttings and dump them on the roadside.

1 comment:

NorthernBeachesWarrior said...

In the good old days, going back to Tom Pyne's days as mayor,there was an annual clean up month (November from memory) and resident's were asked to clean up their yards pre-wet season and cyclone time. This prevented this kind of illegal dumping by recalcitrant residents and cleaned up yards in the advent of a cyclone or dengue fever epidemic like we currently have.

Why this common sense practice was stopped in a tropical city such as this one, beggars belief really. I am sure that the cost of a city wide cleanup would be far less that the costs incurred by all those now hospitalised with dengue fever, and the clean up of this kind of prolific dumping and other clean up of our waterways that must go on.