Council counting the cost of illegal dumping
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.