What is Illegal Dumping and How to Report It
The Impact of Illegal Dumping on Public Health and Environment
Illegal dumping. It’s an issue that impacts us all.
Illegally dumped waste is an eyesore that harms our neighborhoods and environment.
But what causes it, and what can we do about it?
Read on as our expert rubbish removal company unpack the problem of illegal dumping, and provide helpful tips for reporting offenders.
Understanding Illegal Dumping
As you drive through the streets or walk through local parks, you may come across piles of waste dumped illegally. Old furniture, appliances, and bags of rubbish and unwanted items strewn across public land. It’s an unpleasant sight, and one that seems to be increasingly common across many suburbs and regional areas.
The waste itself is not just an eyesore. It can create real problems. Hazardous chemicals from paint tins or asbestos sheeting can leach into soil and waterways. Dumped waste blocks drains, contributing to flooding. Rubbish attracts vermin like rats and cockroaches, spreading disease. The impact on local wildlife and ecosystems is devastating.
1. Lack of affordable waste disposal options
The cost of responsible disposal of waste like hazardous materials via council services or legitimate waste contractors can be high. For households and businesses generating large volumes of waste, some turn to illegal dumping to avoid fees.
2. Limited waste collection services
In some regional or remote areas, councils provide limited waste collection services like hard rubbish pickup. Residents may dump their unwanted household goods or yard waste on roadsides or empty private land.
3. Laziness and disregard
For some offenders, illegally dumping waste is a crime of convenience and lack of social responsibility. They can’t be bothered disposing of waste properly, and disregard the impact it has on others.
4. Difficulty accessing disposal sites
People without access to a vehicle or trailer may find it challenging and costly to transport large waste items. Dumping it nearby seems an easier option.
5. Lack of awareness
Surprisingly, some people engaged in the illegal dumping of litter don’t realise it’s an offence. They think leaving waste on an empty block is no different from putting it on the curb for collection.
Reporting Illegal Dumping
The good news is we can all help tackle the problem of illegal dumping by reporting it promptly whenever encountered.
1. Note the precise location
Provide specific details like the street name, nearest cross street, suburb/town, and GPS coordinates if possible. Details like landmarks (“next to the big gum tree”) can also help identify the site.
2. Describe the waste
What kind of waste has been dumped? General rubbish? Green waste? Building waste? Demolition waste? Hazardous waste? Snap photos to share with your report if safe to do so.
3. Estimate volume
Give an estimate of the amount of waste – number of bags, and size of pile. This helps assess the urgency of the clean-up required.
4. Identify any clues
Note down identifying details that may trace the waste to offenders. Receipts or junk mail with addresses, vehicle debris, and even distinctive handwriting on boxes.
5. Report promptly
Faster reporting increases the chances of identifying offenders still in the area. Removing waste quickly also reduces further dumping at the same site.
6. Call the council first
For dumping of household quantities, call your local council. They can collect the waste and investigate offenders.
7. Follow up
Check back with the agency you reported to. Illegal dumping investigations can take time. Follow-up calls help demonstrate community concern.
8. Spread the word
Tell friends and neighbors how and where to report dumping. The more reports authorities receive, the more attention the issue will gain.
Helpful Tips for Avoiding Illegal Dumping
As community-minded citizens, we don’t engage in illegal dumping activities. But we can still be part of the solution by following these tips:
1. Use council clean-up services
Take advantage of council hard rubbish collections, scheduled clean-up days, or on-call pick-ups if available. Even if fees apply, far cheaper than potential dumping fines.
2. Visit your local waste facility
Council waste centers accept many household waste items. Some take green waste, building materials, chemicals, and other problematic dumping favorites.
3. Organise home pick-up
Various waste contractors offer affordable home collection services for large waste items. Compare quotes to find one that fits your budget.
4. Donate usable goods to charity
Local op shops may accept clean clothing, furniture, appliances, toys, and books in reasonable condition.
5. Lead by example
Follow best waste practices on your own property by reusing, recycling, mulching garden waste, and composting food scraps. Inspire others to do the right thing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the maximum penalties for illegal dumping?
Penalties and fines for illegal dumping can be quite severe, depending on the type, scale, and location of offending. Jail time is also possible for serious dumping cases.
Can I install barriers like fencing or rocks to prevent dumping?
Installing your own fences, rocks or other barriers risks fines for obstructing public access or creating road hazards. You can submit requests to your local council, but approvals are unlikely for DIY barriers.
What if I witness someone dumping illegally?
Never approach or confront someone in the act of illegal dumping. This could be dangerous. If possible, record details like number plates, and vehicle descriptions, or take photos from a safe distance. Provide all witness details when reporting the incident. Let authorities investigate and prosecute.
Illegal dumping harms us all. But together, we can be the solution.
Consistent reporting and community pressure will help tackle the root causes over the long term.
United, we can keep our neighborhoods, parks, and public spaces clean for all to enjoy.
The future of our communities depends on it.