NOTHING sends a stink up neighbours’ noses more than people burning rubbish in their backyard.
Apart from being illegal, the practice is not only a major polluter but a health hazard for some.
Prue Coyle, a long-term resident of Wendouree, said people burning rubbish in their backyards was quite prevalent in the suburb.
“There is always someone burning something in their backyard,” Ms Coyle said. “My two-year-old son has asthma and the smoke is not good for him. Each time someone burns something, we have to put his asthma plan in place.”
Ms Coyle said she had seen all sorts of things being burnt around the suburb.
“I have seen mattresses, plastic bags, household rubbish and even broken toys being thrown on the fire,” she said.
“And sometimes they will burn things during the night and you can see the flames.”
People, Ms Coyle said, should hire skips or take their rubbish to the tip even if it costs them money.
“It is the responsible thing to do,” she said. “You are teaching your children not to pollute.”
CFA District 15 operations officer Archie Conroy said burning rubbish in backyards could be very dangerous.
“The fire can get out of hand and you can cause a nuisance to other people and even set fire to their property,” Mr Conroy said. “We get lots of calls before the weather warms up about fires that have gotten out of hand or (rising) smoke.
“The CFA is a volunteer service and crew get pulled away from their families to attend to these fires at all times of the day and night.”
Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria said a Delacombe man was fined $1500 for burning household belongings on his property.
EPA Victoria, south-west manager Eve Graham said the man, a removalist, was caught following a community tip off.
Ms Graham said burning waste was not an appropriate disposal option.
“The actions of this individual impacted the community and the environment,” Ms Graham said. “We suggest that residents contact their local council and find out what restrictions apply.”
Ms Graham said residents should consider reuse options in the first instance, however, if that couldn’t be achieved then disposal or recycling options were available at landfills and transfer stations.
A City of Ballarat spokesperson said next month residents would receive two free waste vouchers, a waste calendar, and important recycling information with their September edition of My Ballarat.
“The vouchers can be used to take rubbish to City of Ballarat’s transfer station,” he said. “The transfer station is located in Gillies Street South (opposite Victoria Park), where residents and businesses can dispose of unwanted household materials and green waste.”
The Gillies Street Transfer Station is open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm and weekends and public holidays from 10am to 4pm. (The facility is closed Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Anzac Day and Good Friday).