From July 1 emptying the box trailer at Maitland tip will cost a substantial $59 – up from $41 – a fee some still consider cheap.
While some Maitland residents continue to flaunt the charge by dumping illegally, residents of Beresfield, Wallalong and Seahampton, among others, use Maitland’s cheap tip.
The fee is almost a third of what Newcastle, Port Stephen and Lake Macquarie councils charge for a full, 750kg box trailer load.
Maitland City Council wrestled with increasing the fee to $59, taking into
consideration the life of the East Maitland tip and the spate of illegal dumping.
MCC development and environment manager David Simm told the council this week the tip was filling up too quickly.
“We are actually too cheap with our fees and we are suffering some leakage now from neighbouring council areas,” he said.
“From the analysis we have done it would cost $150 to dispose of a similar load elsewhere.
“If we keep the price low it will in the long-term lead to residents paying more in rates to build a new facility.”
The fee increase at the tip, on Mt Vincent Road, will cover the state government Waste Services Levy ($7 million) and the federal government carbon tax ($2m).
“Without those fees it would cost only $18 to unload a box trailer,” Mr Simm said.
Cr Henry Meskauskas said a kerbside, bulk goods collection would have made more sense.
“Kerbside collection would have sent two-thirds of dumped items into recycling, but instead we’re having to pick up these items dumped in reserves and it’s going straight to landfill,” he said.
“You could blame the government fees, but at the end of the day it’s the poor ratepayer who foots the bill.”
Cr Ray Fairweather said the council was between a rock and a hard place.
“I don’t know that the ratepayer can continue to pay for the waste services levy,” he said.
“[But] I don’t think it’s right that we should be subsidising the tip so that people outside of Maitland can dispose of waste more cheaply.
“When the tip was established we were told it would have a life of 36 years, but we’ll be lucky to get 26 years out of it.”