Waste disposal  a tricky issue for council  

Many people will be happy to hear the City of Greater Bendigo is looking at present waste disposal methods and fees.

The Bendigo Advertiser has received a huge response to stories this week about the dumping of household items and rubbish in bushland.

The Whipstick Forest has been a particular area of focus. Of greatest concern was the find of industrial waste, including asbestos, which created a serious hazard. This dumping creates obvious environmental issues.

But Ironbark Riding Centre owner Rebecca Gahan reminded us  how this behaviour damages our reputation with the visitors. She noted that the people she takes through the Whipstick on her horse rides regularly comment on how bad the area looks.

The majority of feedback this week pinpointed high tip fees as the reason why people are turning to bushland to dump unwanted items.

It’s clear residents want council to have both free tip days for ratepayers and a hard rubbish collection to help people get rid of larger unwanted items.

The catch-22 for council is that the costs involved with getting rid of  waste are rising – do they absorb that impost or pass it on to consumers through tip fees? It appears people would be happy for tip fees to remain as long as scheduled free days were introduced to give them an option. Maybe that’s the solution.

On another front, a Country Fire Authority volunteer raised the issue this week of people dumping cigarette butts in bushland at One Tree Hill.

At the end of the day both these problems come down to responsibility. Until people are prepared to take responsibility for their actions and realise the damage dumping material or cigarette butts in bushland can do, nothing will change.

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