Council seeks community help after illegal dumping
Byron Shire Council has asked for the community’s help to spot anyone dumping bulky goods illegally, after a large amount of rubbish was found on Rajah Road, Ocean Shores.
The waste was dumped on Rajah Road during last weekend (July 7 and 8). The dumping was the latest in a series to have taken place throughout the Byron Shire in the last week.
In asking for the community’s help to prevent illegal dumping, Council’s Executive Manager of Water and Recycling, Phil Warner, said Byron Shire residents were crucial in keeping an eye out for any illegal activity happening in or near their neighbourhood.
“Community information is often critical to Council being able to enforce the law,” he said.
“If residents see someone illegally dumping, they should contact Council so that it can conduct an investigation into the incident.
“And the more details community members have about the alleged incident, the more chance Council has of a successful prosecution. Details of the dumping, including the date, time and location, the number of people involved and or a description of them, what was dumped, or vehicle registration details are all pieces of information residents can provide to Council to help us prevent unwanted goods being dumped in local neighbourhoods.”
Mr Warner said Council would be using some of its resources to target illegal dumping.
“Illegal dumping can be environmentally hazardous and pose a safety risk for residents, as well as having a negative impact on the community where the waste is dumped,” he said.
“Council rangers are always on the lookout for illegal dumping, and, depending on the material that is dumped, on the spot fines range from $200 for littering by an individual or $400 by a corporation, or the more serious offence of dumping waste, which carries a fine of $750 for an individual and $1,500 for a corporation.”
Prosecutions for waste dumping have also occurred in the Byron Shire. In 2010 Council’s Governance Manager, Ralph James, conducted a Local Court prosecution of a Shire resident who dumped waste. The Court fined the resident $20,000.
Mr Warner said that anyone thinking about illegally dumping material could avoid a potential fine or prosecution by taking advantage of Council’s free, bulky goods drop off system, which commenced on July 1.
“Earlier this year, Council replaced its annual kerbside pick up with a system allowing residents to freely deposit large, bulky goods at the Myocum Waste and Resource Recovery Facility,” he said.
“Since the start of this month, residents can now deposit up to 150 kilograms of bulky goods without charge at the Myocum Facility, simply by taking along an original copy of their rate bill, or a voucher which is based on a residential tenancy agreement if they are a resident not paying rates.
Mr Warner said there were several important reasons why Council resolved to change the system for receiving bulky goods.
“This is about trying to make waste management in the Byron Shire more sustainable,” he said.
“It was obvious that there was a large amount of illegal dumping taking place under the guise of the kerbside pick up system, both before and after the official collection period started. Aside from causing environmental damage, the large amount of illegal dumping was distressing for some residents who had goods dumped near their homes. It was also having a negative impact on community amenity, and posed a safety risk, particularly to young children that might be tempted to explore in any dumped goods.
“The previous system was also limited, as it only applied to residents in urban areas, not those living in rural parts of the Shire. It was preferable that a new system could be implemented that would allow more residents to access the service.”
Mr Warner said that Council had determined the new deposit system provided a more appropriate way for the Byron Shire community to deal with unwanted goods.
“The new service is available to any resident or ratepayer within the Byron Shire, including rural residents. The only exception is that the service applies only to households, not industrial or commercial properties,” he said.
“On one occasion only per year, residents can drop off up to 150 kilograms of bulky waste at Myocum landfill at no charge. Details of the rate notice or voucher will be registered into a database. Any material exceeding 150 kilograms will be charged at the appropriate fee.”