Push for free waste visits

Reports of illegal roadside dumping in the district have increased on social media streams in recent weeks and local residents have had enough.

Lewiston resident and regular Echo Landcare columnist, Mark Webb, is incensed people are destroying the environment by disposing of their rubbish illegally.

Mark suggests free twice-yearly visits for residents to the local dump would help reduce these instances, adding the installation of cameras at rubbish dumping “hot spots” would also help deter would-be dumpers.

“I may be a greenie but there is no excuse for people to dump rubbish on the sides of our roads,” Mark said.

“It is a health hazard and contaminates our environment.

“Our young people are easily influenced (and) if they see adults do it they will do it as well, first at their school and then on the side of our roads, just like their parents.”

Mark admits rubbish dump fees are not cheap for residents and opening times are not always convenient, but says this is no excuse.

He has put forward an idea of letting residents have two free visits to the local waste facility per year, saying such a move could curb/kerb roadside dumping in the district.

“I have been talking to councillors from other councils and they have found that by letting residents have two free visits to the dump per year, that has saved their councils thousands of dollars per year and there is less rubbish on their roadsides to clean up,” he explained.

“When people have an opportunity to do the right thing I believe most will.

“It gives people ownership (and) if we want this type of behaviour to stop, we need our community to investigate this option.”

APC general manager of infrastructure, Martin Waddington, said council was currently investigating the option of a hard waste pick up service.

“A kerbside hard waste service, if adopted, would provide assistance to those residents that are unable to transport their hard waste to the transfer stations.  “However, it’s not anticipated that any of these services, if introduced, will have any impact on illegal dumping because it has been found that most illegally dumped rubbish originates from areas outside of the Adelaide Plains Council area,” he said.

Some common places for illegal dumping and vandalism in the APC region include Gawler River Road and Port Gawler.

Mark says the secluded fishing spot of Port Gawler, which is off the main highway, is regularly defaced and he was saddened to see on a recent visit, the hard work of local community groups destroyed.

To get to Port Gawler, there is only one way in and one way out, a fact which could aid authorities and the local council in identifying the culprits, Mark believes.

“It would be a great idea for our councillors (and/or) authorities to investigate the opportunity of setting up some motion sensor cameras to monitor the traffic within this area,” he said.

“I know this will not catch the people involved at that time but it will act as a deterrent and the images could be used by constabulary authorities to determine who is responsible.

“The damage that is done to our property and to our environments costs us all.”

While illegal roadside dumping is often found on isolated, dirt roads within the region, townships within the district are not immune.

Last month volunteers at the Two Wells Op Shop were confronted with a massive pile of old mattresses, furniture and unwanted goods.

Luckily the culprits had left behind a calling card, a receipt with their details on it, police were called and the offenders asked to “please explain”. They were made to remove their rubbish.

Op Shop volunteer, Margaret Gameau, said it was a horrible situation to come across, and the site, while welcoming donations of sound and useable goods and clothing, was definitely not a dumping ground for residents’ rubbish.

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