Cameras catch illegal dumpers
SMILE dumpers, you're on CCTV camera and will be caught.
Dozens of portable surveillance cameras have been installed at illegal dumping hot spots on the Southern Downs to boost the rate of catching culprits.
Southern Downs Regional Council environment spokesman Tim O'Brien said cameras were fitted at several problem areas last year and had significantly improved the rubbish squad's strike rate.
"The cameras are rotated around different locations so there is a lot more surveillance and it's definitely helping to curb the problem,” Mr O'Brien said.
While he declined to reveal the number of offenders caught since the cameras had been installed, council officers frequently issued penalties, Mr O'Brien said.
"We are gradually winning the war on illegal dumping with cameras identifying registration numbers, and residents reporting culprits,” Mr O'Brien said.
Common illegally dumped items include whitegoods, TV's, mattresses, furniture, building waste, tyres, chemical drums, paint tins and asbestos, he said.
"There can be a spate of dumping when people are moving house and they go out to quiet roads to offload bulky items, particularly around Leyburn, Killarney and Allora ,thinking they won't get caught.”
Officers often found bills with addresses among rubbish which led them straight to the offenders.
Common dumping areas in Warwick include the Old Stanthorpe Road end of Dead Horse Lane and streets off Bracker Road, Mr O'Brien said.
"It's a big job and expensive to get rid of the waste, particularly when council is required to pay specialist removalists to get rid of hazardous items such asbestos.
"People do trend to be lazy when it comes to getting rid of household items and they will dump rubbish right near free council waste facilities.”
Placement of rubbish beside waste stations rather than in the bins was considered illegal, he said.
Council officers can slap offenders with fines up to $2356 while courts can hand out penalties in excess of $10,000.