War declared on illegal dumping

Byron Council and the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) have joined forces to wage war on the illegal dumping of garden waste.
DECCW manager waste management section, Mark Gorta, said illegal dumping of garden waste was a highly visible and costly environmental problem.

Mr Gorta said problems included threats to native bushland from environmental weeds and disease and reduced habitat for native animals and birds.

He said it could also mean an increased fire risk to bushland and adjoining properties, more hiding and breeding sites for vermin and the ugliness of the dumping could compound the problem as the local community lost pride in the affected areas.

“Illegal dumping across NSW costs local and state governments and the community more than $10 million a year to prevent and clean-up,” he said.

The council’s waste and recycling services manager, Russell Chaplin said the council and DECCW, would be seeking the support of gardening, landscaping and tree servicing businesses in the campaign, which also would target garden waste dumping by local residents.

“The campaign aims to raise awareness of businesses and residents as to the harmful effects of the illegal dumping of garden waste and their legal responsibilities. The illegal dumping of garden waste can result in significant on-the-spot fines,” he said.

“We’ll be sending a brochure to landscape, gardening and tree services businesses in the local area and following up with a waste survey of their operations.

“There will also be an advertising campaign in local publications warning householders to be aware of the problem and to report suspicious activity or illegal dumping."

 Mr Chaplin said council staff would be carrying out increased patrols of illegal dumping hot-spots over spring and summer.

Residents who suspect illegal dumping or become aware of illegal waste operations should contact Byron Shire Council on 6626 7000.

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