NARRABRI Shire Council has spent a considerable amount of money cleaning up an illegal rubbish dumping site near Turrawan, 20km south of town.
Manager of Planning Development and Services Nick Wilton said “about seven” people had been prosecuted and another three had been issued court attendance notices over the dumping, which had been happening at that site and at Jacks Creek for the past six months.
“It’s costing council quite a bit to clean this site up: it’s a fairly costly exercise,” he told The Leader.
He said whitegoods, green waste and even commercial waste such as chunks of concrete had been dumped on the corner of Old
Turrawan Rd and the Kamilaroi Highway.
He said the instances of dumping had gained momentum in recent months, which is why the council had to act.
But the rain last Sunday and Monday had slowed the dumping right down.
“We’ve had a fair bit of rain and those roads out that side have been fairly boggy,” Mr Wilton said.
The Turrawan site is an old road reserve originally used to store road base and gravel but, in the latter half of 2012, has been increasingly used as a makeshift rubbish site.
Narrabri Shire Council general manager Pat White said that he rubbish started appearing at the site shortly after council introduced the tip fees in July 2012.
“Since then, the amount of rubbish being dumped at the site has grown immensely,” Mr White said.
It mystified him that about 50 per cent of the rubbish dumped has been recyclable, including plastics, cardboard and paper.
“We simply can’t understand why residents would not be using the recycling services available to them,” Mr White said.
“Council contractors conduct household garbage collection including recyclables – and residents out of town can dump sorted recyclables at any Narrabri Shire tip free of charge.
“It seems strange that people would drive 15 minutes out of town to dump something which could be picked up at their homes through the regular waste-collection service.
“There is also a large amount of domestic waste including nappies, food packaging and other things which don’t break down.
“It is important that these go into landfill and aren’t dumped in the open where they can be blown around and cause hazards to wildlife.”