Sebastopol residents and local business owners say they are disgusted by rubbish that is dumped at the car park of Coles in Sebastopol almost every day.
Clothing recycling bins owned by Enviro Recycle are located at the back of the car park off Albert Street.
But one Sebastopol worker says there is often broken bottles, broken glass, and large items like couches, chairs, mattresses and bed frames dumped at the site illegally.
Large signs on the bins say “do not leave any rubbish around bins, offenders will be prosecuted”.
Clothing bin owners Enviro Recycle were contacted for comment, but did not respond in time for deadline.
But a staff member in a nearby shop said the bins were emptied at least two times a week and large items dumped at the car park were also cleared.
A Coles spokesperson said Coles was “working with the landlord who owns the site to address excess donations placed around the charity bins and have arranged with the operator who manages the charity bins to increase how often they collect donations.”
City of Ballarat south ward councillor Ben Taylor said rubbish dumping had been a problem for many years throughout Ballarat.
“Illegal dumping is a real problem across the city, but it is one that is hard to tackle,” he said. “Prosecuting is really hard but we want people to know that people can be prosecuted and if they do dump they will get caught and be fined.
“Council is willing to look at things like cameras and work with the landholder to stop this happening.”
Critics have said the cost of tip fees for Ballarat residents drives illegal dumping.
But City of Ballarat south ward councillor Jim Rindali said ratepayers receive two free tip vouchers each year, and council supplies the service for ratepayers at operation costs.
“It is very expensive to operate landfill now with regulations that apply. It is not that council are making money or breaking even on it, it is supplying a service and subsidising a service for the ratepayers,” he said.
It costs $49 per cubic metre to dispose of general waste at the Ballarat Transfer Station, with an individual cost for items like mattresses, tyres, and refrigerators. Visit http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/ps/waste/transfer-station.aspx for cost details.