A GRIFFITH councillor has been forced to take the extraordinary step of calling for locals to capture photos of litterbugs on their mobile phones.
Council is unable to issue a fine for littering unless the offence is witnessed by compliance officers or irrefutable evidence is submitted.
A surge in litter and illegal dumping has spurred Councillor Pat Cox to advocate a “dob in a dumper” idea, in which mobile phone users capture offenders in the act and provide the evidence to council.
The call comes after former local politician Noel Hicks wrote to The Area News, expressing his disgust at the amount of rubbish dumped throughout the city.
Cr Cox urged residents to take responsibility for keeping the city clean by either picking up rubbish or taking action to help catch the offenders.
“We need to do something because dumping and littering is just getting worse and worse,” Cr Cox said.
“The best option is to find who’s doing it and stop them.
“If you see someone dropping their food wrappers or drink bottle on the ground, or see someone dumping household furniture or large waste, take a photo and report it to council.”
Any activity reported to council will be permanently recorded in its customer request system and dealt with by compliance officers.
Individual fines for littering and dumping range from $60 for a “small item” or extinguished cigarette to $750 for failing to comply with a clean-up notice.
Cr Cox said one of the biggest problems was people who moved out of units and dumped their belongings on the side of the road.
She called for real estate agents and landlords to remove the rubbish and take the cost out of the tenants’ bond payment.
But Griffith Real Estate director Brian Bertolin said it was often impossible to determine who had dumped items near unit blocks.
“If someone moves out and the next day there are lounges and a TV out the front, it’s pretty easy to tell where it has come from and we absolutely remove it at the tenant’s cost,” Mr Bertolin said.
“Nine times out of ten, when there’s rubbish dumped, it’s very difficult to tell where it came from; it’s not necessarily from the nearest unit block.”