Landscaper back after 30 years to root out dumpers

THIRTY years ago, a young Max Yusuf planted trees to green and add life to a Campsie laneway.

Now, the council landscape construction worker of 36 years, has returned to the same laneway to help out in a joint beautification project with CBCity’s Clean City Dumping Prevention team.
Dwarfed by the 10-metre tall jacaranda and flame trees he nurtured all those years ago, Max is proud to be part of the program which is aimed at rooting out dumpers.
Campsie’s Dispensary Lane has been identified as a hotspot for illegal dumping due to its low visibility and large patches of bare soil.
As part of the laneway beautification, Mr Yusuf laid a series of philodendron xanadu plants and mulch under the existing mature trees, creating a green carpet across the bare soil and transforming the laneway into a brighter and more welcoming space.
“It’s hoped that when people see that the area is neat and well-maintained, they are more inclined to look after it too,” Mr Yusuf said.
Surveillance cameras have been installed in the area to catch those doing the wrong thing, while Council Rangers are working with local businesses to better manage their waste. Fairy lights have also been strung over the trees to discourage antisocial behaviour at night.
Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said the project was a simple solution and the council would be looking to roll it out at other locations across the City.
“It brings a drab area to life and is just another means of getting people to think twice before they dump their rubbish,” he said.
Mr Yusuf said it’s rewarding to see his work grow and flourish over the years, and even more so to be utilised for a good cause.
“There are many times I drive past an area and say, ‘geez, did I plant that?’”