Byron Shire Council’s efforts to reduce illegal dumping have received a $119,000 grant boost from the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Combatting illegal dumping: clean-up and prevention program.
In 2019/2020, Byron Shire Council’s costs associated with illegal dumping were in excess of $150,000 and 593 illegal dumping incidents were recorded.
Illegal dumping causes environmental harm by contaminating and degrading land, plant and animal habitats and polluting waterways.
“We witnessed a rapid increase in illegal dumping last year in line with the arrival of the pandemic and this funding will help us intensify our efforts through smarter surveillance and monitoring, improved signage plus better educational and communication tools,” Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said.
“The message is simple – it is absolutely not okay to dump your rubbish on public land, the kerbside or to dump your household or commercial waste in public litter bins and fines associated with illegal dumping are a minimum of $4000,” he said.
Council’s Waste Education and Compliance Officer, Zoe White, said the grant will allow Council to work closely with the community to make sure everyone knows where and how they can safely dispose of all types of household, commercial and green waste.
“Council provides a free annual service, allowing residents to drop-off 150kg of bulk waste or up to 500kg green waste at the Byron Resource Recovery Centre when providing proof of residency,” Ms White said.
Information about the free waste drop off service is on Council’s website.
“Thanks to the funding we will be introducing a courtesy trailer to assist residents with transporting large items to the Resource Recovery Centre,” Ms White said.
“Targeted educational materials will be developed to address issues associated with the transient nature of our community, with materials distributed broadly to short and long term residents.
“Our overall aim is to reduce the number of illegal dumping incidents in the shire by 30% by the end of the project,” she said
Community members can play their part by reporting illegal dumping via Council’s Resource Recovery Hotline 1300 652 625 or to the EPA website.
This project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority, Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.