City cracking down on building waste

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

The City is committed to driving improvements in the construction industry’s management of waste on building site.

Following a recent spate of large volumes of Styrofoam (waffle pods) impacting on properties and waterways, the City has increased its compliance monitoring of the sector.

During a proactive campaign, Local Laws officers have issued multiple infringements, five Notices to Comply and numerous warnings and written instructions regarding building site waste.

The patrols come on the back of the City last month becoming the first municipality in the state to secure the ability to issue infringements under the new Environment Protection Act, in effect from 1 July 2021.

This provides the City with more enforcement opportunities and has increased the value of the fines it has been able to issue for breaches.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said enforcement supported an educational campaign that aimed to encourage more people in the industry to minimise their impact.

“We are proactively patrolling development areas, with a focus on managing loose waffle pods, littering and non-compliance,” the Mayor said.

“A key aspect of our site visits has been to talk to managers about their responsibilities and provide advice about how to best secure their waste.

“This includes promoting the value of a caged refuse facility – contained on the site, not on the footpath – where offcuts and rubbish can be stored until they’re properly disposed of.”

Follow-up work continues on 50 further reported building waste issues, predominantly related to Styrofoam.

Following damaging storms at the end of October, City crews cleaned up large amounts of loose and broken Styrofoam waffle pods in areas such as Armstrong Creek, Lara and Ocean Grove.

The waste had found its way into public open space and waterways, creating issues for environmental and public health.

Cr Jim Mason, Chair of the Environment portfolio, said it was important that sites were secured at all times, to prevent against high winds.

“It is often when workers have left that loose debris is blown away, seeping into adjacent properties, stormwater drains and waterways.

“All crews should be aiming to eliminate or reduce risks of harm to people and the environment from their waste.”

You can report any instances of litter via our Geelong City App, by emailing [email protected] or by calling Customer Service at 03 5272 5272.

Page last updated: Thursday, 9 December 2021