There have been several instances of illegal mulch dumping in the park recently – the latest being truckloads of waste dumped at the eastern end of the park off Heath Street.
The photo below shows two of three illegal dumpings with one of our dismayed weeders in shot to show scale:
It seems “cowboy” operators save the costs of proper green waste disposal by dumping in the park. No doubt they charge their customers for waste disposal – so make a tidy profit at the expense of damaging the park and making the council (ie the community) bear the costs of its removal and disposal.
Update: The Whitehorse Leader (Wednesday, 16th October, 2013 – Page 17) reports that the Furness Park illegal mulch dumper was fined nearly $1,000 with a conviction recorded.
In the Heath Street case, the dumping occurred on areas that had been recently painstakingly hand-weeded by the Monday Weeding Group – leaving carefully nurtured indigenous grasses and seedlings smothered by waste. Even though the council has since removed the waste, it often contains weed seed and cuttings – so will tend to reintroduce weeds into affected areas – no doubt causing further problems down the track. Furthermore, the council had to use mechanical means to collect the waste – hardly fragile plant-friendly!
What can you do ?
Please be vigilant: only vehicles operated by Whitehorse council, Melbourne Water and their respective contractors should ever be in the park. Council and Melbourne Water vehicles are easily identifiable by their signage – council vehicles usually belong to its Parkswide Division.
Identifying legitimate contractor vehicles is more problematic. If in doubt, note down the registration of the vehicle and telephone Parkswide on 9262 6213 to check whether legal mulch is expected to be being brought in.
If you suspect that the dumping is illegal, call the Local Laws people on 9262 6588 to report. If possible, take a photograph showing the vehicle in the park with identification visible. Thankfully, an observant resident has supplied the registration of an offender in the recent Heath Street case to council.
On a smaller scale, residents should never dump lawn clippings or other garden waste into the park for the same reasons noted above.