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Help report any illegal dumping and stop Baw Baw rate payers having to fork out $84,000 to clean up mess in Ellinbank

Baw Baw Shire Council is encouraging the community to help reduce illegally dumped rubbish following an increase in incidents which will see council's expenditure exceed $84,343 this financial year.

By news@gippsland - 15th December 2022 - Back to News

Last month council was made aware of an illegal dumping event on Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank containing 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.

Illegally dumped rubbish on Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank

Illegally dumped rubbish on Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank

Budget spent on illegal dumping

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. Unfortunately, the event is not a once-off and is emblematic of an increasing trend of illegal waste dumping across the Shire.

Over the past 3 years, council's budget spend on illegally dumped rubbish has increased by 80%. As a result, council has been compelled to increase the allocated budget spend on illegal waste remediation each year. With the cost inevitably flowing on to Baw Baw Shire ratepayers, council is asking for community assistance to eliminate illegal rubbish dumping by reporting incidents when they see them.

Reporting litter

It is a criminal offence to illegally dispose of waste and, if caught, individuals may face multiple penalties including large fines. Community members are encouraged to report any illegal dumping they may witness or have any information about to council through Snap Send Solve page or to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or visiting Environment Protection Authority Victoria page.

To ensure residents can dispose of their waste correctly, council offers a range of hard waste collection options as well as the do-it-yourself drop offs at the four council operated transfer stations. More information on resident waste disposal can be found at Bins, Rubbish and Hard Waste Collection page.

Alarming and disappointing

Mayor Cr Annemarie McCabe said, "It is alarming and disappointing to see the cost of illegal waste dumping in our Shire has significantly increased over the last 3 years. This is a matter that the council takes very seriously."

"Illegal dumping events like the one seen in Ellinbank have significant financial and environmental impacts for our entire community. 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."

"If you see illegal dumping, I strongly encourage you to proactively report it to the council or the EPA. Working together, we can stomp it out." Mayor McCabe said.

Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.


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