Whitsunday Regional Council has applied for funding for a new waste transfer station in Mount Coolon after an increase in commercial dumping. Picture: File
Whitsunday Regional Council has applied for funding for a new waste transfer station in Mount Coolon after an increase in commercial dumping. Picture: File

NOT FAIR: Council set to take action against dumping

COMMERCIAL dumping could add an extra $16,000 to council's bill every year, forcing them to take strong measures to lock illegal users out.

In the ordinary council meeting on Wednesday, councillors discussed the pressure on the current waste services at Mount Coolon.

The Mount Coolon landfill provides waste services to 40 residences in the area.

However, Whitsunday council officers said the service is being used by commercial businesses who are dumping their waste.

The landfill costs the council about $33,606 a year to maintain and only $4480 is recovered through the refuse facility charge, leaving council to cover the cost of $29,126.

The increase in commercial waste means operational costs for the site have risen to $11,587.

It was predicted that if no action is taken, the site will continue to have an estimated operating cost of $50,000 or more and could attract fines from the Department of Environmental Services for non-compliance.

Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright said commercial dumping was taking a toll on Mount Coolon ratepayers. Picture: Jordan Gilliland
Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright said commercial dumping was taking a toll on Mount Coolon ratepayers. Picture: Jordan Gilliland

Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright said action needed to be taken on the waste services for the sake of residents.

"It's totally reached it's capacity out there with all the commercial waste that's been dumped and the ratepayers are paying for that ultimately," she said,

"We don't want that to continue.

"I believe it's the responsibility of these business and commercial entities to dispose of their own waste."

Mayor Andrew Willcox also pushed for change, saying he did not think the burden of the commercial dumping should fall on the shoulders of residents.

The proposed site of the new waste station. Picture: Supplied
The proposed site of the new waste station. Picture: Supplied

Councillors resolved to support a submission to the Queensland Government for $150,480 in funding to close the Mount Coolon landfill and establish a new waste transfer station.

The government grant would add to a $37,620 co-contribution from the council.

If successful, the council hoped to build a new $188,100 transfer site with monthly skip bin removal.

CCTV would be installed to assist to monitor users and reduce illegal dumping activities, however Division 4 councillor Michelle Wright also floated the idea of a giving residents a key to access the facility.

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The transfer station would be 25m wide and 25m long with areas for scrap metal, car batteries, fire extinguishers and tyres.

While the operating costs of the proposed new station would be $15,000 more than in the past, council officers said the earlier costs were "no longer achievable" under requirements from the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act.