It appears that it’s going to take closed circuit surveillance cameras to reduce the amount of illegal rubbish dumping in the Hunter – and that’s a sad state of affairs.
For quite some time, illegal dumping has taken place at various hot spots across the region – most notably in out-of-the-way parcels of land in the Cessnock and Maitland areas.
Everything from furniture, toys, building supplies, household items and general waste have been spotted at various locations across the region recently.
So the Department of Primary Industries-Lands and the Hunter/Central Coast Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Squad plan to set up security cameras on Crown land in an attempt to catch, or at least deter, the people doing the dumping.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot Macdonald has rightly labelled the behaviour of illegal dumping as “disgraceful” and called the perpetrators “criminals”.
“This is a scourge on the community, and a terrible way to treat the environment,” he told Fairfax Media.
“The installation of surveillance cameras on Crown land will assist the agencies in gathering evidence against illegal dumpers.
“Illegal dumping can cause serious environmental pollution and can be a risk to human health. It can impact local amenity as well as create a significant clean-up cost to the community.”
But it’s not just the environmental impacts that are a worry.
The Department of Primary Industries-Lands has spent almost $1 million cleaning up illegal dumping sites across the Hunter so far this financial year. This shows the extraordinary financial burden illegal dumping has on tax payers.
Setting up surveillance will hopefully reduce the problem of illegal dumping in the Hunter. But the reality is that it shouldn’t have reached this point.
People who dump their garbage and unwanted items know that their behaviour is unacceptable – that’s why they do it in places that are out of the way, where they are less likely to be caught.
They wouldn’t dump their garbage in their own street or neighbourhood, so why should anyone else put up with rubbish being illegally dumped near their property or on Crown land?
Anyone with information about illegal dumping can call the Environment Line on 131 555 or DPI – Lands on 1300 886 235.
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