Wollongong Council and the NSW EPA have joined forces for a new illegal dumping clean-up and prevention project.
With grant funding provided by the EPA, Council will install 51 covert surveillance cameras in various locations along Harry Graham Drive, Clive Bissell Drive and Mount Keira Road to assist Council in catching those who illegally dump in the area.
Areas along the Illawarra escarpment within the Cordeaux and Mt Keira areas are renowned for problematic illegal dumping, with low traffic and secluded areas often targeted as waste hotspots. With a high number of illegal dumping incidents reported in the area over the last financial year, the program is aiming at a significant reduction of illegal dumping incidents at these sites over the next 12 months.
Currently, there is on average one new illegal dumping incident every fortnight for the Cordeaux-Mt Keira area. The illegally dumped waste mainly consists of construction and demolition waste, asbestos and household waste.
“Some members of our community think that because an area isn’t busy, or an area is surround by forest that it is somehow okay to dump their waste there. This is abhorrent and selfish behaviour,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
The project will also aim to raise community awareness about the amount of illegal dumping taking place, and support an increase in the enforcement action taken against illegal dumping. With illegal dumping a challenge to prosecute due to its covert nature, additional opportunities to gather surveillance footage will assist in providing better evidence.
“With this additional resourcing, Council is taking a strong stance and putting these irresponsible individuals on notice,” Cr Bradbery said.
“We are monitoring the area and enforcement action will be taken against those who are caught illegally dumping. No excuse is good enough for what they are doing.
“While Council and the EPA will be watching, we need to work together. Our community are also eyes and ears and we rely on them to Report Illegal Dumping – or RID – for investigation. If you see something, say something by contacting Council on (02) 4227 7111 or by using the RID website to make an online report.”
In addition to the cameras, signage will be installed in the targeted hotspots and brochures will be distributed locally to help deliver the message that dumping is socially unacceptable and illegal.