The unfortunate consequence of Maitland City Council’s decision to increase the cost of tip fees at its Mt Vincent facility from July 1 is likely to be more illegal dumping.
Maitland residents are already up in arms of existing tip fees and have long called for a major overhaul of the council’s rubbish policy.
Some good points have been made; kerbside pick-ups would help stop illegal dumping in bushland and along road verges, and also might divert more unwanted goods into recycling. Those residents, particularly the elderly, who do not have access to utes or trailers have also made pleas for the kerbside pick-up of green waste.
Time is fast running out. When the Mt Vincent facility was set up it was predicted that that it would have a life-span of three-and-a-half decades.
Suddenly, that has been downgraded to 20-plus years.
Cr Ken Wethered has spelt out the implications for the city.
If a solution is not found, the council will have little option but to try to strike a deal with the likes of Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook councils.
A rubbish transfer station would be needed, the cost of which would be substantial.
The likelihood of those local government areas welcoming Maitland garbage would seem negligible.
They are, after all, high population growth areas in their own right and as such have their own rubbish issues to contend with.
It is not fair for boundary hopping to continue. And, just as it is not right that non-Maitland residents use the Mt Vincent facility because it is cheaper than where they live, it is equally wrong for Maitland residents to use cheaper neighbouring dumps.
The waste has got to be cut down; people must learn to recycle more, whether it be manufactured goods or green waste.
What is urgently needed is for people to change their way of thinking.