A SURGE in illegal rubbish dumping is leaving a trail of debris across the northern suburbs — and a huge clean-up bill for councils.
Playford Council recorded 6640 cases of illegal dumping last financial year, up by 17 per cent on the previous year’s figure of 5529.
While the figures are lower in Salisbury, the amount of recorded cases have nearly doubled in the same time frame, from 250 to 419. To combat the growing problem,
Playford Council has increased its use of portable security cameras. Since deploying the CCTV cameras in May, which are being fitted temporarily to trees and signs, three illegal dumpers have been caught in the act and fined.
Salisbury Council, which does not yet use security cameras, caught and fined 10 people in 2016/17.
Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the council was using “every means that’s available” to catch the people responsible. “Illegal dumping costs the council approximately $1 million a year to clean up,” Mr Docherty said.
“It is money we’d rather be spending on services and programs for our community.”
Offenders who are caught dumping small amounts of waste risk a $210 on-the-spot fine, while those who abandon hazardous chemicals such as asbestos can be fined up to $120,000 or jailed for two years under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016.
Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge called on illegal dumpers to dispose of waste in the correct way.
“I would like to pick up what is dumped and find the person who has dumped it and put it right back in their yard,” Ms Aldridge said.
“We want people to feel good about where they live.”
She said installing CCTV cameras across the area would help deter people from dumping illegally.
Playford doubled its free hard-waste collection service to twice a year in January, carrying out a doorknock to let people know when to put out their waste for collection.
Salisbury offers a “suburb-by-suburb booking system” where hard waste is collected for $10 a month.
One case — involving couches, pallets and rubbish on land at Frost Rd, Salisbury — provoked condemnation on a Facebook residents’ forum. One resident said the dumping was a “disgrace”, while another called for the council to “throw the book” at the offenders.
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Originally published as Rubbish tossers leaving huge clean-up bill