Two new illegal dumping officers, funded by the State Government, have identified 40,000 litres of illegally dumped materials in their first week.
Bundaberg Regional Council was one of four Councils selected to participate in the rollout of the Queensland Government Pilot Illegal Dumping Project.
The two dedicated positions mean Council now not only has the resources to respond to illegal dumping complaints but can also proactively monitor and investigate known dumping hotspots.
Regulatory services portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the pair had already successfully identified offenders and issued fines.
“Our new illegal dumping officers were able to identify an offender who was selling his services to residents to conduct dump runs,” Cr Learmonth said.
“Rather than using the money provided to pay waste disposal fees he was pocketing the cash and dumping the waste in bushland.”
Some of the items they have found include an entire freezer filled with rotting meat and four 200 litre drums filled with oil.
Cr Learmonth said illegal dumping was potentially harmful to the environment.
“With the drums of oil, obviously that has some environmental impact if it was to leak.
“Even green waste can introduce pest plants in to the native bushland.”
Illegal dumping officers investigate incidents
When an illegal dumping site is identified, the officers barricade the area with tape while the investigation is underway.
Immediately following the investigation clean-up is undertaken as quickly as possible.
If an offender is unable to be identified and directed to conduct the clean-up, these costs fall to ratepayers.
Cr Learmonth said at times illegal dumping clean-ups could become costly.
“Council’s focus is on making sure it is cleaned up as soon as possible.
“At times illegal dumping materials are located in difficult to reach areas like bushland.
“Some of it may also require machinery to remove if it is heavy.
“Council is then also responsible to pay for the waste disposal fees of this illegally dumped rubbish.”
The two positions have been funded on a six month contract.