Dump charge 'outrageous'
WHEN Gavin List calculated the cost of laying a new concrete driveway at his Wright Street home he didn’t take into account how much it would cost to dump the old one.
And when he got the bill – for more than $1700 for three truck loads of dirt and concrete – he says he was totally stunned.
“You can buy three loads of best quality granite for that price,” said Gavin who says he would like Rockhampton Regional Council to justify how it can charge so much.
“I’m a resident, I pay my rates and I agree that the people who use the landfill should pay for the privilege,” he said.
“But $1700 is outrageous. It’s no surprise that so many people are tipping their rubbish in the countryside. The rates keep going up, but what are we getting in return?”
Gavin said he thought it would cost about $150 per load, not the $570 his contractor was charged each time he unloaded at the Lakes Creek Road landfill.
“When I got the invoice I thought it was a joke. It nearly doubled the cost of laying a new driveway and that’s just too much. It’s unfair.”
But Cr Graeme Brady, who chairs the council’s Business Enterprise Committee, defended the charge yesterday.
He said the landfill has charged $74 a tonne for inert waste since May and the council undertook a wide range of community awareness to explain the reasons to plant operators who use the landfill on a regular basis.
“Waste is waste and the new standardised fees are based on weight and type of waste, which means those who use the facilities pay for them.
“The price for inert waste is in place because we don’t need soil at any landfill as we have adequate stockpiles, and we have changed our filling technique at all sites and are also using less soil.”
He said the fee was introduced to generate alternative market uses for soil.
“When the Lakes Creek landfill closes in 2013, the transfer station that replaces it will not be able to take soil, therefore we need to encourage alternative markets,” he said.
The council said it had not taken lightly the process of determining the fee which reflected the true cost of disposing of inert waste which includes hard and clean fill, soil and cover material, builder’s rubble and mixtures of soil, concrete and timber.