By Jessica Anstice
Anger is brewing among the community as building construction workers and the general public continues to treat parts of Officer and Pakenham as dumping grounds.
Not only is a cluttered and rubbish-strewn building site unsightly and dangerous but as soon as a windy day hits, it can become a firsthand frustration for neighbouring residents.
A Pakenham local who lives nearby Henry Road in Pakenham and asked not to be named, believes builders should set “higher standards” for their employees.
“Most of them throw drink bottles, food wrappers and all sorts of rubbish anywhere they feel like,” she said.
“They are largely pigs. Follow one down the road at lunchtime and watch the junk fly out their window.
“It happens around Henry Road and the estates between Henry Road and the freeway – that’s the area I am most familiar with, but I’m sure it happens all through the new estates.”
The fed up resident feels Cardinia Shire Council should set more standards for the developers of new estates, as well as enforcing them.
“Council bylaws officers could randomly drive through and issue fines for building waste and general litter,” she added.
“Council seems reluctant to issue fines for this. I know because some rubbish was dumped nearby with addressed mail among it.“I couldn’t even get the council to look at it, let alone enforce laws they have in place.”
Arcadia Estate Officer resident, Danielle, often picks up pieces of rubbish she finds lying in her street and gutters.
Danielle described her street has a “wind tunnel” that leaves piles of rubbish sprawled across her front lawn.
“At one point we had builders rubbish all over the place from down the street,” she explained.
“A lot of the rubbish is quite large so it’s not as easy as just picking it up to put in the domestic household bin. Builders often don’t secure their dumpsters so the rubbish escapes in high winds.
“Also a lot of it is foam, and then the foam ends up breaking into little pieces and that’s bad for the environment – you can see it choking up the creek down the road.”
Pakenham resident, Karl Imby, said dumped rubbish is a major issue and environmental risk around Arden Estate, including down Greendale Boulevard and the nearby bike track.
He also acknowledged that between Henry Road and the freeway is a hotspot for accumulating litter.
“There is actually rubbish all over Pakenham if you look carefully and when the wind blows it makes it worse,” he said.
“Why can’t the council employ more cleaners to pick up dumped rubbish? I pick rubbish up off nature strips every couple of days. I even pick up rubbish in gutters around drains and obviously it blocks the drains.
“There is even rubbish on roads such as nails and screws – I’ve had two punctures in the past year from nails in my tyre.”
Mr Imby noted a problem with supermarket trolleys being dumped in parks around Pakenham.
“The shopping trolleys stay there for weeks and get filled up with rubbish.
“People just chuck rubbish out car windows as well.
“There aren’t enough bins in parks and on the street in general.”
Cardinia Shire Council has been contacted for comment.