Illegal dumpers beware

ILLEGAL waste dumpers are being targeted by the State Government with the help of the public.

Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor, has urged anyone with information to come forward after a series of tips-offs led to large fines for dumpers in recent weeks.

Mr Sartor said information from industry informers, and in one case a jogger with a mobile phone, proved vital in helping bring dumpers to justice.

“Would-be dumpers are on notice,” Mr Sartor said.

“In recent weeks the Land and Environment Court handed down almost $300,000 in fines, penalties and costs, and 920 hours of community service for dumpers prosecuted by the EPA.

“Tip-offs from the waste industry and information from local councils were vital in getting these criminals into the courts.

“In most cases the culprits were caught red-handed by surveillance teams.”

The NSW Government had specialist waste investigators who were experts in covert surveillance and forensic investigations of dumped material.

Specialist investigators work hand-in-hand with local councils and Regional Illegal Dumping

Squads on programs throughout Sydney and NSW.

An “Eye in the Sky” program employs helicopters and radar intelligence to feed information to investigation teams.

Investigators carried out 575 site inspections across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra and the Hunter last year.

“NSW has in place extremely tough anti dumping legislation,” Mr Sartor said.

“Since 2005, this Government has also committed an extra $18 million to beef up waste compliance and enforcement.

“Beefed up resources means that more illegal dumpers are caught and it could cost them a $5000 on-the-spot fine, plus expensive clean-up costs or up to $1 million if the matter goes to court.”

Mr Sartor encouraged people to report suspicious behaviour to council or call the Environment Line on 131 555.

He also urged people contracting waste removal companies to check their credentials carefully because they can also be fined and prosecuted if dumped waste is traced back to them.

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