Reducing litter and combating illegal dumping is a focus area under the NSW Government’s Reducing Waste Implementation Strategy 2011-2015. In addition, Goal 22 of the NSW State plan targets illegal dumping with a goal of reducing the incidence of large scale illegal dumping detected in Sydney, the Illawarra, Hunter and Central Coast by 30% prior to 2016.
To meet this goal, Kiama Council has developed its Illegal Dumping and Litter Strategy which aims to:
Illegal Dumping (ID) is the unlawful deposit of waste larger than litter onto land. It includes waste material that has been dumped, tipped or otherwise deposited onto private or public land where no licence or approval exists to accept such waste. Illegal dumping varies from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to large scale illegal landfills.
The incidence of ID continues to increase for all Councils and there is evidence that some perpertrators are becoming more organised and covert in their operations and are prepared to dump outside their local LGA. To combat this growing threat, Councils need to be better coordinated and increase their survelliance, intelligence gathering and enforcement in cooperation with neighbouring Councils. Local and regional communities need to be informed of the impacts of illegal dumping and of the risks of being caught and prosecuted.
Illegal dumping of household items continues to be a widespread problem across the Kiama Municipality. Dumped items are unsightly, and encourage others to add to the pile causing it to become dangerous.
Illegal dumping costs NSW councils around $10 million each year. Dumping of rubbish is an offence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and offenders could be subject to fines of at least $1000.
Litter has gone from being viewed primarily as an aesthetic problem to a broader environmental issue with wide ranging environmental problems.
Litter builds up next to roads, can block gutters and finds its way into creeks, rivers and onto beaches. It harms and kills wildlife. Plastic waste can choke and suffocate birds and marine life. Soil and garden waste spreads pests and weeds, including fire ants and lantana. Organic waste such as food scraps, contributes to algae blooms in waterways. Every year an enormous amount of money, volunteer hours and energy is spent in cleaning up litter waste.
Council has a comprehensive enforcement and education program regarding illegal dumping. However, Council still needs your help. If you see anyone dumping rubbish in the Kiama Municipality area, please make a note of:
Last updated: Wednesday 8 May, 2013