By Oliver Lees
The cost of disposing of rubbish at tips in Hume has risen after the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) introduced changes to their landfill levy earlier this month.
The Metropolitan Municipal and Industrial Landfill Levy increased from $65.90 to $105.90 per tonne.
For small vehicles, a mixed waste station wagon load will now cost $60 while a mixed waste single axle trailer will cost $180.
Hume resident Martin Waslander said he was shocked by the price increase when he visited the Sunbury Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre last week.
“I’m a bathroom renovator, so I can go to the tip as much as twice a week,” Mr Waslander said.
“Filling up my tandem trailer used to be around $240 for a load and now it’s $440. I thought the increase would be maybe $20, I couldn’t believe it.
“Now I’m trying to work out a system of passing on the costs to the client and work out how I can justify that. I’ll probably have to incur some of the costs myself.”
Hume coucil mayor Joseph Haweil said the decision to increase the levy will “directly hit the pockets of locals”.
“Council’s portion of the fee increase has only gone up by CPI [consumer price index], but with the higher EPA levy, council has no choice but to increase the cost of waste services further,” Cr Haweil said.
“It makes no sense when considering the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19, along with the lack of processing capacity and end markets for recyclable and organic material which are key to diverting material from landfill.”
Cr Haweil said the increased rate “does nothing” to support the council’s efforts to curb illegal dumping.
“Council has been implementing a new strategy to address this issue which has led to increased CCTV surveillance and signage at dumping hotspots across the city,” Cr Haweil said.
“We’re calling on the community to report illegally dumped waste and provide photos, vehicle details, item descriptions, and time and place to help Council catch and prosecute offenders.”
Hume council provides two free at-home hard waste collections and two free tip passes each year.
For more information, visit: www.hume.vic.gov.au