Tip fees rubbished

By KAT MULLARD

THERE are many reasons why Tim Williams loves living on the Coffs Coast but the rich and diverse local environment ranks among his main reasons for staying here.

But it is changes ? man-made changes ? to local habitats that has him worried about the coast's 'clean green' reputation and future.

He's livid about the proliferation of illegal roadside dumps throughout the region, and he's not afraid to point the finger at what he believes is motivating residents to do the wrong thing ? tip fees!

"Coffs Harbour City Council has finally managed to hit the fluff in the bottom of our pockets," Sawtell resident Tim Williams said.

On a recent trip to the tip, Mr Williams was outraged to discover how much the fees had increased, and has voiced concerns that the high prices are causing an escalation in the amount of illegal rubbish dumping.

"Now, at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Facility, a trailer load of rubbish that would have previously cost $12 to tip, cost me $65. No wonder Coffs is starting to look like a rubbish tip -people can't afford to go to the dump anymore," he said.

Mr Williams discovered large amounts of illegally discarded rubbish including old carpets, bedding, broken chairs, tyres, and green waste around his local area at Lions Road and Sawtell Road, and near the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Facility at Englands Road.

"Do they go to the tip and then change their minds after finding out how much it is going to cost them? We live in a beautiful place and we need to keep it that way, and if that means revising our tip fees then that's what we need to start looking at," he said.

Mr Williams also has doubts about the new bin collection system, saying that it is the yellow and red bins that need to be emptied weekly, not the green bin.

"Many people I've spoken to easily fill their yellow bin and put the overflow into the red bin. And what will happen with the green bins in winter when people aren't mowing their lawns weekly? Bloody great trucks roaring around the streets picking up half a cup of food scraps from each household? Some re-thinking is required," he said.

Defending the tip charges, a Council spokesperson said that the rates per tonne for greenwaste and general domestic waste have increased in line with Council's costs.

"Council's costs have increased due to the cutting edge waste management infrastructure being constructed at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery park. Tipping fees at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park are consistent with other regional coastal councils," a council spokesperson said.

Council warns people they could face fines of between $200 to $1000 for the illegal dumping of rubbish. Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Facility fees are comparable to Port Stephens ($105 per tonne), and Shoalhaven ($92 per tonne) tip fees, but are considerably higher than Nambucca and Lismore fees (both $12 a trailer load), Kempsey ($8.80 a level trailer load), and Grafton ($45 per tonne).

Have you noticed an increase in illegal rubbish dumping? Contact the Coffs Coast Advocate at kat.mullard@coffscoastadvocate.com.au



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