The Clarence Valley community is taking steps to protect the region by reporting illegal dumping incidents. The community uptake of the service helps council staff respond to and clean-up dumping incidents more quickly which, in turn, helps prevent further dumping at those spots.
Community reports also help council staff to find and fine the dumpers.
The most common place to find illegally dumped waste is on our kerbsides and reserves. Unwanted household waste items like mattresses, white goods and furniture account for 52% of all reported dumping incidents, which is more than all other dumped waste types combined.
Clarence Valley Council senior environmental health and sustainability officer, Richard Roper, said while most people knew what to do with their items, there were still people who might not know the rules.
“There still seems to be a common belief that leaving unwanted items, particularly furniture on the kerbside, is okay because someone else will take it,” Mr Roper said.
“But it’s not okay and you can be fined.”
Mr Roper said there were a number of other ways people could dispose or donate unwanted items, and it just took a few simple steps but has great environmental benefits. These included:
• Taking items to the Grafton or Maclean Waste Transfer & Recycling Centre or Grafton Regional Landfill, where many are accepted for free including e-waste, fluoro light bulbs, gas bottles, oils, paints and smoke detectors. Find out more at www.clarence.nsw.gov.au
• Give away unwanted items to friends or family, host your own swap party or take part in the North Coast’s biggest annual garage sale www.secondhandsaturday.com.au
• Try selling or giving away unwanted items via online platforms such as Gumtree, eBay or the local Facebook buy/ swap/ sell group
• Donate unwanted (saleable only) items to a local charity, but please don’t dump at op-shops. If it’s not saleable it will cause unnecessary cost and work for volunteers to dispose of it to landfill. Just think – if you wouldn’t buy it, probably no one else will.
We can all ‘crack down on dumping’ by disposing of our unwanted household ‘stuff’ responsibly and by reporting any dumping of waste directly to council on 6643 0200 or via www.ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au
This project is supported by North East Waste and is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.