Bega Valley Shire Council is investigating the illegal dumping of rubbish and unsaleable household furniture out the front of the Merimbula Salvos store over the weekend of November 26 and 27.
Council rangers have viewed video footage and are conducting enquiries to identify persons and the vehicle responsible.
The council spokesman said it appears the waste was left by more than one person.
Manager of the Merimbula Salvos Sue Davidson said most of the items left beside their collection containers were of little or no use and were not resaleable.
As it is an offence to deposit waste which is disorderly or detrimentally affects the proper use of any place the rangers have the ability to prosecute the parties involved under the Protection Environment Operations Act (POEO Act).
Fines range from $80 for the dumping of basic single litter items to $4,000 for an individual transporting or depositing waste or $8000 for a corporation.
Council said persons found to be responsible will legally be required to remove the waste at their expense and at no further cost to Council or the community.
If the perpetrator cannot be found, council has said it will also absorb the cost of disposing of the waste, but this money would be at the cost of the community as it would come from the grants program.
Volunteers at Merimbula Salvos were shocked and disgusted at the mess that was left out the front of the store when they arrived on Monday morning.
Store manager Sue Davidson said the whole footpath was covered in items that had been dumped alongside their empty charity bins.
She said it looked like someone had cleared out their entire house and left the mess out the front of the store.
“The illegal dumping of rubbish is a regular occurrence here but this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Ms Davidson said.
After two hours of hard work, volunteers at the store had filled two large skips with rubbish, yet they had barely made a dent in the large pile.
“Most of the stuff here is unsalable, there are rotten old mattresses, broken furniture and bags of rubbish. Now it’s up to us to fork out the money to take it all to the tip,” Ms Davidson said. “It’s disappointing because there are clear signs and these people just ignored them.”
Ms Davidson said she didn’t want to deter people from donating but encourages everyone to bring their donations into the store or call 6495 1222 to arrange a pick up.
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