TONNES of building waste have been dumped on vacant residential blocks in Maitland, the latest development in a growing trend of illegal dumping in the Hunter.
Commercial quantities of mattresses have been discarded on roadsides over the past several weeks, stretching the budgets of councils and ratepayers dealing with the waste.
Just weeks out from work starting on his new family home, McKeachie’s Run landowner Mitch Smith said he was disgusted to find several tonnes of bricks and broken cement on the vacant lot.
He said it will now cost hundreds of dollars for him to remove the debris from the site just weeks out from construction beginning.
‘‘I don’t reckon I could fit it all in a ute and box trailer,’’ Mr Smith said. ‘‘Building isn’t a cheap process. We’ve had to save a heap of money for deposits and site costs, but obviously rubbish removal wasn’t included in those.’’
A spokeswoman for Stockland, which is developing McKeachie’s Run, said the company would investigate the incident and explore what could be done to stop future incidents.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Saturday that mattresses were being dumped around the Lower Hunter in commercial quantities, a problem Maitland City councillor Henry Meskauskas believes relates to the building waste.
Cr Meskauskas said illegal dumping was becoming a major problem on vacant lots as residents and businesses attempted to sidestep costs associated with dumping.
He said the problem would only get worse if increased charges on public exhibition were approved, potentially adding about $18 to dump fees for a box trailer load of waste.
‘‘People aren’t using the tip [at the moment], they’re using every avenue they can to avoid the charge,’’ Cr Meskauskas said. ‘‘I’ve probably seen about 10 [examples] in the last two weeks.’’