Shopping centre won't let volunteer street cleaner use bins
AN elderly man who walks 40km a week cleaning the streets of Ipswich has been told he can no longer put litter he collects in the rubbish bins at a busy shopping centre.
Andy Brodersen, 83, picks up rubbish every morning seven days a week around Collingwood Park and surrounds and estimates he scoops up more than 100,000 pieces a year.
He takes a different route every day to cover as many different areas as possible but a significant part of his time in his daily mission is committed to Collingwood Drive outside Redbank Plaza.
"Lots of litter is dropped on the section of the road between the two traffic lights at the entrances to the plaza," Mr Brodersen said.
But on Monday morning, when he picked up about 450 items, he ran into trouble.
"My problem is that when I leave Goupong Park and start on my way back home, there are no public bins between Goupong Park and Jamboree Park," he said.
"Hence the need to drop rubbish at (Redbank Plaza)."
But after depositing part of his morning's work into a bin, he said he was told by a member of the centre's management he could no longer pick up rubbish in the plaza or on their property, or use their bins.
Mr Brodersen said he was accused of rifling through their bins to find items to be refunded through the Containers for Change scheme, a claim he vehemently denies.
"I fully realise the plaza is a private property and the management has every right to ban me," Mr Brodersen said.
"I'm doing a public duty. Most of the stuff I pick up is stuff that comes from the plaza. He should be thanking me and sending me Christmas presents."
To solve the issue, he wanted a large public bin to be erected near the centre.
An Ipswich City Council spokesperson said in a statement they will review the bin provision in the area in light of the situation.
Attempts to gain comment from Redbank Plaza management were unsuccessful.
Mr Brodersen believes more needs to be done to curb Ipswich's rubbish problem and suggested introducing laws akin to those in Singapore, where fines worth thousands of dollars are handed out to litter bugs.
"I'm (picking up) over 100,000 items a year," he said.
"This is just Collingwood Park, so we are talking about millions of items being dropped by people in Ipswich.
"If we catch four or five people and they get a $5000 fine within a matter of weeks Ipswich will be clean as a whistle. It will happen. I would bet my life on it."
Mr Brodersen said he had been doing community service since 1965.