The Burdekin River is being used as dumping ground for furniture, bottles and household waste.
Burdekin Shire Council Environment and Health Manager Tracy Jensen said council officers had inspected the river in January and found five separate illegal dumping sites on the Home Hill side of the river.
“There were bottles, disposable Christmas table cloths, plates, prawn shells, a couch, recliner and a television,” she said.
“Council officers were able to track down four people connected with the illegal dumps.
“Of those four, three were given the option of either, cleaning up their rubbish and getting a warning, or receiving an appropriate fine.
“Only one of the three ended up receiving a $1760 fine for illegally dumping a sofa and recliner, the others opted to remove the rubbish.”
Mayor Bill Lowis said there was a worrying trend of people dumping their rubbish in the river.
“It’s just too easy for some people to use the river as a dumping ground for their rubbish,” he said.
“It’s very disappointing that a small number of people believe it’s easier to take their stuff down the river than to the transfer station.”
Ms Jensen said some of the mess left behind in the river displayed names and addresses which enabled council officers to track those people down.
“One of the people told officers that there was other rubbish there, so he dumped his there – it’s this mindset that we have to change,” she said.
“To take a large trailer load of household rubbish to the Kirknie Road landfill will cost residents $17. To be caught illegally dumping rubbish may cost you up to $16,000 in fines and leave you with a conviction recorded against your name.
“Most of the rubbish found in the river could have been placed in the household recycle or general waste bins.”
Ms Jensen urged residents to report any suspicious activities or illegal dumping sites to the Council’s Customer Service Centre on (07) 4783 9800.