How councils will crack down on illegal dumping
ILLEGAL dumping has been on the increase in northern NSW over the past three years with incident rates doubling from 512 incidents in 2013 to 1088 incidents in 2016. However, lack of good quality data to understand the issue has limited the Councils capacity to effectively manage the problem.
Fortunately, Ballina Shire, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley Councils were successful in receiving a NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) grant with the support of the regional waste group, North East Waste, to collaborate on an illegal dumping project to improve their recording and reporting of illegal dumping data.
Rachael Jenner, Environment Health Officer, Ballina Shire Council said: "Without a better understanding of the types and volumes of wastes dumped, locality of dumping and cost of clean-up, we are unable to manage and budget effectively to reduce illegal dumping."
An Illegal Dumping Project Officer has been engaged to work across the three Councils to improve the recording and reporting systems used by Councils and implement the NSW EPA reporting system called RIDonline (Report Illegal Dumping Online).
Tash Morton, Illegal Dumping Project Co-ordinator for NE Waste said the online database captures illegal dumping data from across NSW and enables users to track and map dumping incidents.
"It will allow the Councils to identify the hot spots and develop strategies to reduce dumping in these areas," she said.
"The public can also assist Council by reporting illegal dumping incidents using the online public reporting system at RIDonline. It can easily be accessed from a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer and is simple to use. You can also easily upload a picture and it takes less than 2 minutes to submit a report.
"The project will run over a twelve month period and will provide valuable information that we aim to share with other Councils in our region," Ms Morton said.
To report illegal dumping phone the Council on 02 6686 4444 or report online at RIDonline ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au
This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.