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20 November, 2020

No effort will be wasted

Illegal dumping is an issue for many regional Councils. Since the introduction of state-wide waste disposal levies in 2019, residents and business owners have been battling with the increased costs associated with the disposal of many recyclable items.

By Peter McCullagh

In the Cassowary Coast, illegal dumping has become such a problem, the Council has recently employed a full-time Community Education Officer.

Cassowary Coast Division 2 Councillor Teresa Millwood is confident the new Education Officer along with other significant steps will bring about a reduction in waste heading to landfill and also the instances of illegal dumping.

“The expectation is that the new Community Education officer will implement community programs that will lead to the reduction of waste being collected by Council.

“One of her primary roles will be promoting the reduction of wet waste; the best way to do that is by increasing composting. That is something Council will put priority on in the coming
12 months.

 “Currently we are seeing between 5 and 10 instances of illegal dumping in our region each month. This is a four-fold increase in instances and a direct result of the Queensland Government Waste Disposal Levy,” said Cr Millwood.

“We have significant volumes of green waste, white goods, furniture and tyres being discarded at the side of the road, much of which could easily be recycled.

In addition to the appointment of a Community Education Officer, Cassowary Coast Council have also commenced rolling out roadside signage and covert surveillance cameras with a capability of recording vehicle registrations and identifying possible illegal disposal allowing Council to work with alleged offenders to remove rubbish and or, fine offenders for their actions.

“We see the solution is more an education one. We believe that working with schools and community groups, building the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ message will deliver significant benefits in the long run,” stated Cr Millwood.

Recently Cassowary Coast Regional Council entered a strategic partnership with Endeavour Foundation with the recycling of old mattresses.

“This partnership is proving very successful with a significant number of old mattresses being processed at the Stoter Hill Transfer Station. We plan to eventually include this service at the Tully Transfer Station,” said Cr Millwood.

The collection, processing and disposal of wet waste is a major financial burden within the Cassowary Coast. Currently wet waste is collected and eventually transported to the Atherton Tablelands for disposal and burial.

Wet waste volumes have remained fairly static for the past 12 months with no significant reduction of wet waste collected by Council. Currently wet waste is collected from the kerbside and eventually transported to Mareeba for disposal and burial. This process and expense could be reduced significantly if composting initiatives were embraced by residents.

Cassowary Coast Council currently run a Community Composting Program where Council offers a $20 rebate for residents purchasing a compost bin or work farm composting system for their household.

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