The Dilemma of Illegal Dumping in Sydney

Illegal dumping is a despicable act.

It impacts the environment, wildlife and people, and is far too common in Sydney and the rest of Australia.

Illegal dumping must be stopped at all costs.

Despite hefty fines, many people still dump their rubbish irresponsibly. According to a 2015 EPA survey of 1000 people, one in three admitted to illegally dumping waste at some point.

The good news – the New South Wales government is committed to reducing illegal dumping by 30% by 2020.

Here’s some of the information you need to know about illegal dumping.

What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping is when people or companies leave their rubbish in public areas. These areas could be parks, empty blocks of land, nature strips or waterways.

This rubbish can constitute anything from paper waste to machinery. Household appliances are commonplace, as is rubbish from construction sites.

Unfortunately, illegal dumping in NSW and the rest of Australia is a frequently committed crime.

Often, those dumping the rubbish don’t appreciate the consequences of their actions.

What’s the Impact of Illegal Dumping?

The impact of illegal dumping is enormous.

Pollution from waste is finding its way into storm water, rivers and eventually the sea.

Animals often ingest this rubbish, and it can destroy native plants.

Illegal dumping has an impact on not only the environment and wildlife, but people too.

Often, people and companies will dump harmful materials, such as chemicals, asbestos and fuel.

Illegally dumped rubbish and fuels pose a fire risk, especially wooden materials such as construction waste and old furniture.

This waste also looks terrible, and costs local government hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to clean up.

The financial burden extends to the large amounts of money spent investigating illegal dumping and prosecuting offenders.

Moreover, many materials that could otherwise be recycled or repurposed are going to waste, and harming the environment in the process.

The Penalties

The penalties for illegal dumping are hefty, and rightly so.

If an individual is caught dumping rubbish illegally, they’ll be issued with a fine of $4,000.00 on the spot.

If they’re caught in the act by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the fine is $7,500.00.

For corporations, the amounts for the same crime are $8,000.00 and $15,000.00 respectively.

‘Wilful disposal of waste causing actual or likely harm to the environment’ will see an individual fined $1,000,000.00, or spend 7 years in prison.

For a corporation, the fine is $5,000,000.00.

What Can You Do?

When disposing of your waste, do it responsibly.

Ensure that rubbish and recycling ends up in the right bin. Book a hard rubbish collection or visit the tip for larger items.

For businesses, contract a waste collection company like Sydney City Rubbish. It’s far more cost effective and the process is handled expertly from start to finish.

Do your part by reporting any illegal dumping.

It simply isn’t worth it.

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