Aussie couple outraged after $3,500 problem dumped in their front yard

Photos show mounds of soil dumped on Simon McEvoy and Lynne Barron's North Balwyn home.

Left, a white truck illegally dumping soil on the Melbourne couple's property. Right, property owners Simon McEvoy and Lynne Barron standing in front of a skip bin full of the dirt.
Melbourne couple Simon McEvoy and Lynne Barron are furious after they say two piles of soil were illegally dumped on their property. Source: A Current Affair

A Melbourne couple are up in arms after they say a truck load of excavated dirt from a nearby property was illegally dumped on their lawn — not once, but twice. Simon McEvoy and Lynne Barron claim the piles of discarded soil suddenly appeared at their North Balwyn home twice last month after being removed from a worksite just three minutes down the road.

“These guys are rogues, they’re cowboys... they don’t want to pay tipping fees so they’re using my property as a local tip,” Barron told A Current Affair, alleging her neighbours even caught the workers in the act on one occasion. Photos taken by the nearby residents show a large white truck parked on the couple’s property and dirt scattered on their lawn.

“They heard this big mound of earth being tipped out of the rear of these trucks,” Barron said, adding the act has not only left a huge “mess” but has “damaged the nature strip”.

The couple said it would likely cost them $3,500 to rent a bobcat and truck to remove the soil.

Left, two mounds of dumped dirt on Simon McEvoy and Lynne Barron's property. Right, the residential worksite the soil is believed to have been removed from.
A woman who lives across the street from the residential worksite (right) said she became suspicious after noticing how quickly the excavation trucks would return empty. Source: A Current Affair

A woman who lives across the street from the residential worksite told the publication she also became suspicious about the debris after noticing how quickly the trucks would return empty.

“The truck would leave with all this soil, rocks and trees whatever else and then in the space of 10 or 15 minutes the truck would return empty. And this happened several times,” Christina Loutas said, deriding the alleged act as “unfair”.

After being confronted by A Current Affair, workers with the excavation company denied any knowledge of the dirt being illegally dumped on the couple’s property, and a clean-up crew soon got to work to remove the large mounds of dirt.

The Environmental Protection Agency is now investigating the claims.

“If you’re illegally dumping that then what would otherwise be the landfill levy that you’re paying is uh, or the fees that you pay at the gate to the landfill, becomes pure profit for you,” EPA Victoria chief investigator Greg Elms told the Channel 9 program.

The EPA announced earlier this month that it was cracking down on illegal rubbish dumping — which is described as a “serious problem”.

In March, Yahoo reported on local frustration after mounds of rubbish and dumped construction materials were left discarded on the side of a quiet road on the outskirts of new housing developments in Western Sydney. Speaking to Yahoo at the time, local councillor Peter Harle said illegal dumping to dodge fees for proper disposal was a major problem and getting worse on the edges of suburbia.

"Rural areas have millions of dollars worth of illegal dumping occurring every year. Normally, to take it to a tip costs about $350 a tonne. So if you've got 10 tonnes of rubbish, that's a lot of money they save by dumping it onto roads that aren't being monitored," he said.

The EPA's south-west regional manager Carolyn Francis told The ABC the most common illegal dumping was industrial waste from construction sites and demolition materials, as well as discarded furniture and mattresses.

In April, the public was urged to report any instances of illegal dumping after asbestos was found in six Melbourne parks. In Victoria, if you find a pile of rubble, soil or other material where it doesn’t belong, report it online or by calling 1300 372 842.

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