THE City of Launceston has issued about $4000 in fines for littering and rubbish dumping offences in the past few months, according to regulations officer Oliver Breeze.
Four full-time regulations officers are employed by the council to police various acts, including issuing $154 on-the-spot fines for cigarette butt and small littering offences and up to $770 fines for large acts of illegal rubbish dumping.
Mr Breeze said the council enforced a zero tolerance approach to littering offences.
‘‘No one likes unsightly rubbish, no one likes people dumping cigarette butts, and particularly no one likes people to dump rubbish in the bush surrounds around the municipality,’’ he said.
‘‘This stuff will take decades to break down ... stuff like batteries that are just put in catchment areas, in areas that are going to have a direct flow-on for the Tamar River.
‘‘When it comes to cigarette butts on the street there’s a bin in nearly every public street every 50 metres.’’
Part of Mr Breeze’s job is to sort through illegal dumps to find enough evidence to lead to a fine.
He said regulations officers would begin to search for evidence once the council became aware of an offence.
‘‘We might look at security footage, there are certain roads that are targeted, and I’ve got businesses that I’ve spoken to that have cameras ... that I can obtain,’’ he said.
The council has received criticism for failing to respond to a report of rubbish dumped in Hollybank State Reserve on Sunday, however Mr Breeze said the dump had occurred in state forest, not on council land, and that no report had been received by the council.
Despite this, Mr Breeze said he was hopeful a penalty could be enforced under other state littering laws.