North East Waste will receive almost $126,000 from the NSW Government to help combat illegal dumping in the Northern Rivers, Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast and Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis announced last week.
North East Waste is one of 19 organisations awarded a grant under the NSW Government’s third round of the Combating Illegal Dumping Clean-up and Prevention Grants Program.
Mr Gulaptis said North East Waste will coordinate a pilot program with Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley and Ballina Shire councils.
“The project will engage an illegal dumping officer to work across the three council areas. The focus of the program is to use the new officer to build skills and confidence in council compliances teams to undertake illegal dumping investigations, prepare penalty notices and prosecutions and support the adoption of RIDonline to improve reporting.
“The project aims to raise the number of penalties issued for illegal dumping and increase media coverage of those penalties to heighten the perceived risk of getting caught in the community,” Mr Gulaptis said.
The grants program is funded under the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, which includes funding for business recycling, market development, managing problem wastes, new waste infrastructure, councils and programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter.
Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the Government had committed $58 million over five years to tackle illegal dumping across NSW.
“This program makes a difference for councils and community groups by helping them target illegal dumping hotspots,” Mr Speakman said.
The EPA has also recently released a centralised database RIDonline (Reporting Illegal Dumping online) designed to support public land managers to compile and analyse illegal dumping data across the state. The database will help identify trends in order to develop strategies to prevent illegal dumping.
NSW has the toughest penalties in the nation for illegal dumping offences, with fines of up to a million dollars for individuals and $5 million for corporations.
More information about Waste Less Recycle More grants is available at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wastegrants/combat-illegal-dump.htm.