A Stawell resident is angry over illegally dumped hard rubbish near his property.
“The reserve is filled with waste,” Bill Harney, who's property is near Navarre Road, said.
He found a pile of tyres, chairs and other pieces of hard rubbish in the reserve. It was the "second worst" pile of dumped hard rubbish he has seen in his years of living near the reserve.
His comments come after the Northern Grampians Shire Council was recommended not to subsidise the provision of free hard waste and green waste tip vouchers to residents because of the cost.
The council estimates it would cost $696,236 for the shire to supply all households in the area with a waste voucher for both streams, while costing an estimated $333,042 to supply pension holders.
But research conducted by the Environment Protection Authority’s illegal dumping team has found on average each council was paying about $76,000 a year.
“While these figures provide an average for councils across the state, given the low number of reports we get in regard to illegally dumped waste, the cost of hard rubbish removal and green waste vouchers far exceeds the costs associated with illegally dumped rubbish,” NGSC Mayor Tony Driscoll said in response to the EPA’s estimated figures.
But Cr Driscoll said because the council shared responsibility with other agencies to remove illegally dumped waste, it was difficult to determine the exact amount the Northern Grampians Shire spends on removing illegally dumped waste.
The NGSC also runs an education program every two years in schools, as well as “offering guidance through our website and respond to any customer enquiries with options for disposal,” Cr Driscoll said.
St Arnaud’s residents created a petition directed at the NGSC which called for the council to supply residents with a hard rubbish and green waste tip voucher. Twenty per cent of St Arnaud’s residents signed the petition.
The petition was discussed at the NGSC’s town meeting on Monday.
The council said at this stage it was not able to confirm whether it would subsidise hard waste and green waste removal or supply vouchers, as it would form part of its budget process.
Cr Driscoll advises anyone who spots illegal dumping to contact the NGSC’s Community Safety Officers for further investigation of the EPA.