5 April 2024

No leaf-ing matter: Council warns against illegal dumping of green waste

| Claire Sams
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Contaminated green waste collected by council

Eurobodalla Shire Council is cracking down on illegal dumping of green waste. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council/Facebook.

A South Coast council is asking residents to sort their rubbish before they pop it into the bin.

Eurobodalla Shire is seeing an average of three contaminated truckloads of rubbish per week, as well as large amounts of green waste being illegally dumped in bushland.

Council’s waste service manager, Nathan Ladmore, said there were easy solutions.

“The tip fees simply recover handling and processing costs that ensure waste is handled without damaging the environment,” he said.

“If you are feeling overwhelmed by your rubbish, we are a phone call away – our team would rather help you find solutions than see rubbish dumped in the bush or stashed in the wrong bin.”

At Council’s waste management facilities, rubbish is handpicked from green waste piles before the latter is turned into mulch.

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Green waste mulching takes eight weeks, after which it becomes free to the community at all three waste management facilities.

Mr Ladmore said dealing with contaminated loads was time-consuming for staff and a waste of money.

“If the mulch tests too high for contaminants, it can be unusable and end up in landfill, which is bad for the environment,” he said.

“There’s currently plenty of mulch ready to collect at Brou, Surf Beach and Moruya [council’s waste management facilities] – staff will load it for you,” Mr Ladmore said.

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Mr Ladmore said Council would be undertaking an audit of the contents of residents’ bins.

“We want to better understand the various contamination rates and collect data so we can do more community education around this issue,” he said.

During kerbside collection, truck cameras help operators scan green waste bins for rubbish before they’re emptied – with food packaging being the biggest offender.

Contaminated bins were marked with a warning sticker and not usually emptied.

“You will most likely receive a letter from Council as well as a warning sticker on your bin,” Mr Ladmore said.

“If you get three warning stickers you will be contacted by Council.

“Our waste team will pay a visit to help get your waste streams back on track.

“If there is contamination in the bins after this process, then council can remove the bins, and no one wants that.”

To learn more about what items go in the recycling or waste bin, the public can check out the A-Z guide and fact sheets on Eurobodalla Shire Council’s website. For any further questions, Council’s waste officer can be reached on 4474 1024.

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