ILLEGAL dumping by Sunshine Coast residents trying to avoid tip fees has cost ratepayers $250,000 in clean-ups in the past three financial years.
The council spent $122,600 cleaning up 217 tonnes of rubbish from illegal dump sites in the 2010-11 financial year, and $50,000 on cleaning up the year before that, and collected 97 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish at a cost of $74,000 in the eight months to February this year. Mattresses, which attract a $10-$20 tip fee, are one of the more common items illegally dumped.
Noosa anti-litter campaigner Joe Juresivic said illegal dumping had been getting worse since the council introduced fees for dumping items such as mattresses.
"Most of what we're seeing are household items - furniture, mattresses, even whitegoods, which are free to recycle at the tip," he said.
Mr Juresivic said some people were dumping households of appliances, furniture and goods rather than pay moving or tip fees.
"The other day, we found a dump site not 500m from Noosa Civic (shopping centre)," he said.
Mr Juresivic said the problem of mattress dumping could be significantly reduced if retailers took the old one with them when they delivered a new model.
He said council was looking at introducing cameras to catch some dumpers in the act, but it would be hard to police.
A council spokesman said the council had to charge fees to cover its costs, including the State Government waste levy and the Federal Government's carbon tax, but it tried to keep these as low as possible.
He said the council would have to recover its costs some other way if not for the "user-pays" system.
Recyclables such as cardboard, scrap metal (including car bodies, stoves, de-gassed fridges, washing machines and driers), and good clothing are free to dump at council landfills but should be segregated from other rubbish.
A normal trailer or ute load of general waste costs $8.
Mattresses cost $10 (foam) and $10 (innerspring).
Refrigerators (not de-commissioned or de-gassed) cost $15.
Tyres cost $6-$14, depending upon size.