By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Walkers on a popular track next to Hessell Road retarding basin, Berwick have stumbled upon a rude shock.
An enormous pile of rubbish including furniture, building products, soil, lime, mattresses, a car seat, electric frying pan, ladder and broken glass blocked the entire pathway near Valley View Crescent on 1 May.
Helpfully, several bills with two names and addresses were observed on the 20-metre-square heap, and passed onto Casey Council investigators.
Passer-by Nada Cosic was shocked by the “disgusting and disrespectful” sight.
“There are kids on their scooters who use the path, walkers regularly use it every morning … it’s not nice. It’s very upsetting.”
Dog-walker Reg Young said the dumpers must have used a trailer or tip-truck judging by the scale of the litter.
“It’s terrible – they should hit them with the highest fines possible.
“It’s such a beautiful area.”
The footpath is closed to traffic, although a removed bollard nearby provided a likely access point to vehicles.
A second pile of illegal rubbish had been dumped in bushes next to the track further north near Ernst Wanke Road, according to residents.
It’s believed it included a document with the same name and address as found in the 1 May rubbish.
Contractors with a garbage truck taped off the rubbish pile about noon. They said it may be beyond their capability to clean up the mess due to health and safety issues.
Casey Council disposes of more than 600 tonnes of dumped rubbish each year.
Mayor Geoff Ablett recently said it had become a “major issue” with more than 1300 litter reports in the past 12 months.
In that time, it had issued 216 infringements including 85 fines. Recently an offender in Casey was fined $1000 plus $2500 in costs at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.
“I encourage anyone who witnesses rubbish or illegal dumping to report this to Council immediately, so our Rapid Response Unit can attend in a timely manner to ensure we keep Casey clean,” Cr Ablett said.
The council has recently installed cameras in known dumping hot-spots to catch more illegal dumpers in the act.
It also offers two free hard waste collections a year.
“There are plenty of easy and accessible ways that you can get rid of your litter without dumping it on the side of the road or leaving it behind,” Cr Ablett said.
“There is no excuse for illegal dumping.”
To report illegal dumping, go to casey.vic.gov.au/litterreport