Avondale landfill attendant Scott Shailer indicates where thieves forcefully removed a safe from the floor of the on-site office.
Avondale landfill attendant Scott Shailer indicates where thieves forcefully removed a safe from the floor of the on-site office. Mike Knott

Thefts may force closure of dumps

A SPATE of thefts at the region's tips has put smaller dumps, like Avondale, under threat of closing if the break-ins do not stop.

A safe and a number of tools were taken from the tip during a break-in on Wednesday night - the latest in a string of attacks at the facility.

On the same night a safe and tools were taken from the Meadowvale tip, on Rosedale Rd.

The break-ins were just two of four in the past two weeks with a huge number of batteries taken from the Childers tip and earlier this week thieves broke into the Cordalba dump.

The break-ins have left Bundaberg Regional Council waste and recycling manager James Stanfield said in the coming weeks difficult decisions would have to be made about the dumping grounds.

"I think the next move is we are going to have spend a lot of money on the security systems," he said.

But for Avondale, who was under threat of being closed down after a spate of thefts in November, the threat was even more serious.

"That's certainly one of the possibilities closing down," Mr Stanfield said.

"They are not the most productive areas in terms of making money.

"But we have the tip there because it's the right thing to do for convenience and waste."

Mr Stanfield said the next step would be taking to the council the options they had including, how much it would cost to provide better security systems and the possibility of closing down.

The waste expert said it was difficult to secure areas such as dumps.

"They are in isolated areas because people don't want to live near them," he said.

"They also have sound barriers as well so people can spend as much time there and most likely won't be disturbed."

Mr Stanfield said the other issue was to make the area more secure would also mean sacrificing comfort for the workers who worked 12 hour shifts.

"The break-ins also make me hesitant to computerise the facilities if people are going to keep coming in and taking things," he said.

Bundaberg Police have urged anyone with information on the break-ins at any of the dumps to contact them on 4153 9111.



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