Katherine Town Council is forking out over $100,000 per year for depot employees to pick up discarded litter.
On top of a full time litter collector, eight to ten depot employees spend their morning picking up discarded wine casks, broken, empty bottles of wine and rum and a lot of empty beer cans.
The litter is costing the town.
Katherine Town Council environment and compliance manager Andrew Wilson said there has been a significant increase in broken glass and beer cans, contributing to an increase in monthly waste figures.
“Our last waste figures showed a 600 kilogram increase,” Mr Wilson said.
“This doesn’t truly reflect the extra litter itself because bikes, concrete or anything else that is picked up could be included in the figure.
“But reports from the depot (employees) are saying they are picking up more litter and there is an increase in alcohol containers,” he said.
Mr Wilson said the main problem areas include under the High Level bridge, various locations on Riverbank Drive and Railway Terrace and occasionally, the Sports Grounds.
“It is definitely a burden on the town,” Mr Wilson said.
“Depot employees are picking up broken glass bottles instead of doing other things to keep the town nice, such as gardening and irrigation.
“Rubbish collection is putting everything else on the back bench because it is the main thing you see,” he said.
Mr Wilson said the monthly waste figures started to increase about six months ago.
“A couple of years ago we didn’t have a full time person picking up rubbish. Now we have a full time position plus the eight to ten people taking the time out of their usual job to help,” Mr Wilson said.
Katherine Mayor Fay Miller said she is not happy with the additional litter in the town.
“I thought Point of Sale Intervention officers would remain until the police auxiliaries were trained and ready, but that has not been the case,” Mayor Miller said.
Mayor Miller said there is a clear link between the availability of alcohol and the increase in litter.
“The litter we are picking up, which is adding to the waste is alcohol containers,” she said.