Coun­cil count­ing the cost of il­le­gal dump­ing

Ellenbrook Advocate - - NEWS -

IL­LE­GAL dump­ing of house­hold waste is cost­ing ratepay­ers mil­lions of dol­lars as coun­cils foot the bill to clean up the east­ern sub­urbs.

City of Swan chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mike Fo­ley said the coun­cil had spent close to $3 mil­lion on il­le­gal waste dis­posal in the past three years.

The coun­cil’s mop-up peaked at 563 tonnes of dumped waste in 2014-15.

Mr Fo­ley said pub­lic tipoffs about il­le­gal dump­ing in­creased soon after the Re­duce Il­le­gal Dump­ing (RID) pro­ject be­gan in Au­gust 2016; sub­se­quently re­ports of il­le­gally dumped waste fell to 479 tonnes in 2016-17 after av­er­ag­ing about 517 tonnes a year.

The 13.8 per cent in­crease in cases re­ported re­sulted in 93 in­fringe­ment no­tices and three cases pend­ing court hear­ings.

City staff and po­lice mon­i­tor cam­era sur­veil­lance sys­tems to as­sist in catch­ing of­fend­ers and the footage is used in prose­cu­tions.

Mr Fo­ley said the RID cam­paign en­cour­aged peo­ple to re­port dump­ing through an on­line re­port­ing sys­tem or over the phone.

“Since the RID cam­paign was launched there has been a re­duc­tion in the amount of il­le­gally dumped waste in the City and cost to the City to re­move it,” he said.

“How­ever, the cost of il­le­gally dumped waste to the City is not just mea­sured in tonnes or dol­lars.”

“Il­le­gally dumped waste can also un­der­mine our pride and com­mu­nity spirit, be­come a com­mu­nity safety is­sue and an en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ard.”

The max­i­mum penalty for il­le­gal dump­ing is $62,500 for an in­di­vid­ual and $125,000 for a busi­ness.

Mr Fo­ley said the coun­cil man­aged il­le­gal dump­ing of rub­bish on pub­lic or pri­vate land, along with rub­bish left out too early for verge col­lec­tion or when no col­lec­tion was due.

“Not only can this at­tract 'pickers' but it can be clas­si­fied as il­le­gal dump­ing,” he said.

“If res­i­dents have waste they need to dis­pose of be­fore bulk verge col­lec­tions are due to be picked up there are a num­ber of op­tions avail­able, in­clud­ing us­ing the new Bulls­brook Re­cy­cling Fa­cil­ity (free for res­i­dents) or one of the City’s nine re­cy­clable goods drop off days.”

He said the peak pe­riod for il­le­gal dump­ing was in the sum­mer months.

Waste dumped in a re­mote area in the City of Swan.

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