New camera installed to catch people dumping rubbish

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Byron Shire Council has added a sophisticated new camera to its arsenal as it ramps up its battle against illegal dumping.

The dumping of waste in the bush, reserves and on the sides of roads costs Byron Shire ratepayers more than $175,000 a year.

Last year more than 1,300 tonnes of illegally dumped waste was reported in the Byron Shire.

Zoe White, Waste Education and Compliance Officer, said the new camera and surveillance technology will be used in areas that are known hot spots for illegal dumping.

“The new camera is currently installed at an area at Tyagarah, that has cost us more than $40,000 to clean up in the last two years after people dumped more than 130 tonnes of waste there,” Ms White said.

“To be using money to clean up people’s rubbish is really disappointing on so many levels,” she said.

“Money spent cleaning up after thoughtless people is diverted away from other projects and then there’s the impact on the environment, waterways and, potentially, the health and safety of our community,” she said.

For several years Council has been collecting data on illegal dumping incidents and this information has been used to identify problem areas.

“We also have small hidden cameras and the information collected on all these devices will be used to identify and prosecute people who dump waste illegally,” she said.

The fines for illegal dumping are a minimum of $4,000 and up to $1,000,000 where waste causes harm to the environment.

Signage has been installed around the Byron shire warning people against illegal dumping and Council has increased its monitoring and enforcement efforts.

People can report illegal dumping on Council’s website.

This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded by the waste levy.

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