Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) summer is the illegal dumping season and the Victorian bush is often the target for skip bin loads of rubbish.
Chris Webb from EPA’s Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce says that’s where hikers, campers and anyone going bush for fishing or a barbecue can help, by reporting what they find.
“The faster EPA hears about an illegally dumped load of waste, the faster we can do something about tracking down the culprit, prosecuting them and having the mess cleaned up,” Mr Webb said.
“The problem is serious, there are fly-by-night skip bin hire firms that specialise in dodging the cost of proper recycling and disposal by abandoning tonnes of waste wherever and whenever they can,” he said.
“That illegal dumping contaminates the environment and is unfair competition for the honest local businesses who pay the fees for proper disposal and recycling.”
The dump sites often include construction and demolition waste, hazardous materials such as asbestos and household rubbish. A large percentage of those materials should have been recycled, instead of winding up in a local creek or park.
Local Councils across the state spend around $30 million every year cleaning up abandoned waste, and two thirds of EPA’s prosecutions every year are for illegal waste dumping.
“When you see waste dumped in the bush or abandoned on private land, report it to EPA by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or visiting the website www.epa.vic.gov.au,” Mr Webb said.