Company Pays $30,000 In Fines For Illegal Dumping

An example of illegal dumping on the roadside with an old mattress and lots of other rubbish spread about.

A company operating in the Byron Shire hinterland has paid $30,000 for disposing of its waste illegally.

After receiving a complaint from a member of the public in 2023, Council staff inspected the property several times and noted thousands of coffee cups from a café dumped in an excavated site.

Council issued four penalty notices for multiple environmental offences including:

  • Development without consent.
  • Pollution of land.
  • Unlawfully using land as a waste facility.
  • Transporting waste to an unlawful facility.

The matters were scheduled to go before the Local Court in early March 2024, but the penalty notices were paid before legal proceedings began.

“This company was trying to avoid sending waste to landfill – but what they ended up doing was worse because they created their own landfill on a property completely unsuitable for that purpose,” Council’s Manager Public & Environmental Services, Sarah Nagel said.

“This is a cautionary tale for all businesses who use packaging and generate waste. Waste disposal is a serious business that is managed by Councils. There are severe environmental impacts if it’s not done correctly and this is one of the key reasons Councils are responsible for waste disposal,” Ms. Nagel said.

In response to environmental impacts, the NSW Government recently introduced a new Bill (Environment Protection Legislation Amendment (Stronger Regulation and Penalties) Bill 2024 to strengthen penalties and provide additional Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) powers to deal with repeat illegal dumping offenders.

The new legislation is being called the ‘biggest boost to environmental legislation in three decades’.

/Public Release. View in full here.