Don't Dump, It's Dumb
Wagga Wagga City Council was successful in obtaining funding through the NSW Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) 'Combating Illegal Dumping: Clean-up and Prevention Program' to address the problem of illegal kerbside dumping within our city. The "Don't Dump, it's Dumb" project aimed to reduce the number of incidences of kerbside dumping, increase the timeliness of reports of illegal dumping to RIDonline, and engage with residents to educate and encourage correct disposal through reuse and recycling.
The project trialed principles of crime prevention through:
- Environmental design for kerbside landscaping
- Promotion of Council's free hard waste collection service
- The use of visible tools such as temporary signage and barrier tape to highlight incidents
- Providing the community with free "Trash to Treasure" workshops, to encourage reuse, re-purposing or upcycling of old household items.
The ‘Don’t Dump, it’s Dumb’ project delivered a 55% reduction in the number of illegal kerbside dumping reports in the study areas.
What is illegal dumping?
Illegal dumping is the deposit of waste onto land, whether it be public or private, where no approval has been given for the placement of rubbish at that location. Dumped rubbish can include, but not limited to, bags of household rubbish, construction and demolition waste, bulky household items including fridges and mattresses, garden waste and TV's.
Why is dumping dumb?
Dumping is illegal. If you are caught illegally dumping waste you are facing fines between $4,000 and $250,000. This increases if you are representing a corporation where fines can range between $8,000 and $1,000,000. Fines can increase further if the waste type is likely to cause harm to our environment and may even lead to a prison sentence. With more patrols and surveillance being undertaken within the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area, the greater your chances are of getting caught.
Dumping damages your business. If you are a business owner and if you get caught, your customers will find out. This will negatively impact your brand.
Dumping degrades our environment. Rubbish in our environment can harm native fauna and pollute our water ways. We rely on a clean and healthy and environment to provide for us and we have a responsibility to look after it.
Dumping is a safety issue. Sometimes the rubbish that is dumped can pose a serious threat to people and livestock particularly when items such as chemicals, asbestos and medical waste are disposed of inappropriately. We all want beautiful and safe areas to enjoy and illegal dumping compromises us all.
Dumping is being addressed. The state government has identified illegal dumping as a priority in its NSW 2021 plan and have committed funding through the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative to assist Councils to deliver projects that tackle illegal dumping.
How do I report dumped rubbish?
You don't need to have witnessed the incident take place in order to make a valuable report. Dumpers can leave clues behind that will lead to a prosecution. And it is known that rubbish breeds rubbish so the sooner the incident can be investigated and cleaned up, the less likely more dumping will occur in that location.
If you spot illegal dumping, please don't touch the waste, but rather collect the following information to assist Wagga Wagga City Council to undertake an investigation.
To make a report note down:
- Description of the waste
If you happen to see the actual dumping take place, in addition to the above also note down:
- Date and time
- Description of vehicle eg. registration plate, car make, model and colour
- Describe the offender eg. gender, hair colour, estimated age
- Describe any other persons at the scene
Then make your report to the RIDonline website or through the EPA Environment Line on 131 555. You can also contact Wagga Wagga City Council on 1300 292 442.
This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.