Monash trail of new approach to dumped rubbish raises concerns

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More rubbish was piled up next to the remained rubbish with tapes on it at Waverley Rd. Photo: sourced

New trail to dumped rubbish in Monash is unlikely to solve the core problem of people dumping rubbish and it would potentially multiply problems instead, according to the local residents.

From early April, Monash City Council has started a 6-month trail of dumped rubbish which aimed at changing citizens’ behaviour.

Rebecca Paterson, Monash City Council’s mayor, said she believed the trial would go well since five other Victorian councils who use this “behaviour change” model have proved that over time it has reduced the amount of dumped rubbish in their areas.

Mayor Rebecca said the previous process of picking up was considered as “rewarding bad behaviour” in the community, and the new trail might also cut costs to the Council.

But Aaron Webb, the owner of a cleaning business who is living in Monash area said the Council would still be the one who pays the bill at the end because the trail has very little influence on behavior modification and the remained rubbish is more likely to be a bigger problem.

“If the dumpers don’t even pick up their own stuff then it would seem to be a failure, and this still ends up costing the Council.” Mr Aaron said, “and by leaving the rubbish there, how do they stop other people from just adding to the pile?”

As the new trail started, Council will tape the rubbish and letterbox the surrounding properties within 24 working hours of rubbish being reported to them, the current practice is to remind people who dumped the rubbish to remove it in 5 days rather than risk a fine of $500.

Tony Parker, a resident in Glen Waverley, expressed his support for the trail but he was also worried about the resident might be framed and fined for the rubbish dumped on their nature strips by someone else.

“I really hope this works, but I fear that it could be weaponized by neighbours dumping on their enemies’ properties,” Mr Tony said.

“The dumper may not even dump on their own street to make sure they won’t be penalized,” he added.

To this question, Mayor Rebecca said fine will only be issued to people where there is evidence that they have dumped rubbish but the Council is still working on it.

Mr Tony also has a query about pick-up team’s decision on whether rubbish remains or not.

“How does the council determine what is acceptable to leave or to tape off and what is not acceptable and has to be taken away straight away?”

Monash City Council twitter provided the answer.

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These issues ideally should be ironed out, but for now, the impact has been limited.

Mayor Rebecca said she expected that could be more feedback from the community to help them improve the trail.

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