Dumping a sorry sight

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Two weeks’ of highway rubbish collected by Michael Filby.
Camera IconTwo weeks’ of highway rubbish collected by Michael Filby. Credit: Tristan Wheeler/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Shire of Manjimup residents have expressed concern over a spate of rubbish dumps in the shire’s forests and on the side of roads.

Walpole’s Michael Filby has spent years cleaning the roadsides in the region and said he filled 30 big garbage bags south of Palgarup recently.

“What you see outside the north entry of Manjimup is what I’ve picked up in that period,” he said.

“That’s appeared in a 14-day period and if you extrapolate to the year, that would be enormous.

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“Things are being thrown out, things are being dumped, and it’s got to stop.”

Within 10km of the Manjimup CBD in the Kimber Road area, there is a significant dumping site, with seven burnt-out vehicles alongside domestic goods and green waste.

There is significant spread of introduced plant species in the area, due to green waste dumped.

Shire president Paul Omodei said the cost of littering and illegal dumping was immense.

“The negative impact on the morale of those who have to see, put up with or remove the littering and illegal dumping by the minority may gradually erode the goodwill of people and their desire to ensure a safe and functioning natural environment for others, particularly for future generations,” he said.

A spokeswoman from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation said illegal dumping could incur penalties of up to $62,500 for individuals.

“Illegal dumping of green or garden waste can introduce invasive weed species into the natural environment, which can be toxic to native animals,” she said.

“Discarding green waste also increases the potential fuel load to wildfires, posing a risk to life and property.” Cr Omodei said that while the shire did not have an official anti-littering strategy, it supported State agencies resolving littering and dumping on Shire of Manjimup land.

“The shire also works with DBCA and Main Roads WA to reduce littering and illegal dumping through its support of highway litter retrieval and its deployment of skip bins in strategic locations during holidays and peak camping periods,” he said.

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