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2021-07-24 Community & Lifestyle

Stamping out illegal dumping

A lot of the appeal of choosing to make your home in a new estate is the newness:  Smart, contemporary, attractive streetscapes and houses designed for how we live in the 2020s.

Who wants to look out the window and see piles of waste dumped illegally?

Or, visit their new block of land just prior to building to discover they need to remove a whole heap of waste that shouldn’t be their responsibility?

Illegal dumping has so many impacts on our community.

It costs the Council $2.8 million each year to clean up, damages the environment, and undermines property values.

Depending on what is dumped and where, it can create environmental hazards such a polluting local water, blocking storm water drains, and putting the community at risk if it comprises of broken glass, concrete, or rough timber full of splinters.

Illegally dumped waste can also make the estate look like it’s poorly maintained.  The “broken windows theory” is a criminological theory that states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behaviour, and civil disorder (including the dumping of waste) creates an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder.

And if you are the dumpee, illegal dumping can seriously impact your relationship with neighbours.

So, what can you do to stamp out illegal dumping in your estate?

  • Have a discussion with your builder about installing temporary fencing whilst your lot is vacant.
  • Ask your builder to install a temporary security camera for the duration of the build. If the camera can also be left in place from handover of the keys to when you move in it serves the dual purpose of deterring other builders from dumping waste and criminals who may be interested in your white goods and hot water service.
  • Ask your builder what policies and procedures they have in place to ensure they are responsibly disposing (and even recycling) of their building waste.
  • Report any sightings or information you have on illegally dumped waste through the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) at epa.vic.gov.au or directly reporting information to Hume City Council at hume.vic.gov.au/reportanissue. Don’t hesitate to report multiple times to multiple agencies. The quicker that waste is removed the better, and the more information you can supply, the more likely it is the offender will be identified and prosecuted.

Offenders may be charged under the Environmental Protection Act 1970 and if found guilty, face a maximum penalty of $2,000.

For more information and to report dumped waste visit hume.vic.gov.au/reportanissue. Together, we can stamp out rubbish behaviour.

Please note, removal of dumped rubbish on settled lots is the responsibility of the owner.

This article was produced in collaboration with Neighbourhood Watch Victoria and Hume City Council

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