One confused Aussie could be facing a seriously expensive clean-up bill after somebody illegally dumped mountains of construction waste onto their property, which is thought to contain asbestos, and will potentially cost "thousands" to remove.
A suburban Sydneysider posted photos of the mounds of waste in their yard to social media earlier this week asking for advice on how best to remove it. The piles are substantial in height, and a few metres in width at least, with different materials and scraps seen buried in the dirt.
They said "someone has illegally dumped construction waste outside my home" adding that they had no idea "who did it", due to not owning cameras. "The neighbours don’t know either," the person explained.
Mountains of illegal construction waste dumped tn Sydney home
Illegal dumping is a growing problem occurring not just in NSW, but all around the country, with people regularly caught ditching their unwanted belongings in places they shouldn't. Charity bins in particular continue to be inundated with discarded objects, often left overflowing and left for other members of the community to clean up.
Aussies recently warned over dumping
Australians have also recently been warned over the dumping of asbestos, which is toxic to handle and can cause serious illness. Last week, NSW Environment Minister Penny Sharpe said the state government was looking at raising penalties to deter businesses from dumping the material.
"I think the penalties issue is a really big one," she said on Friday. "It's actually something that the government is looking at more generally. We haven't actually raised a lot of penalties for many years."
"And for some businesses, you don't want it just to become the cost of doing business — their willingness to do the wrong thing."
Earlier today it was reported that asbestos has contaminated a number of Sydney community parks.
Removalist flags expensive clean-up bill
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, an employee of East Eddys rubbish removalists said the Sydney resident who was left with the dumped waste could easily be looking at a $3,000 to $4,000 clean-up bill.
"They wouldn't be dumping it unless it was contaminated," the staffer said. "They probably tried to get it into the tip and they couldn't, so they dumped it.
"You've got to get a proper service in to remove that. That looks like a big job, that looks like it'll need a 10 tonne bogie [tipper truck]. That could cost anywhere between $3,000 or $4,000 — it depends how contaminated it is".
Dumping a serious offence in NSW
In NSW, illegal dumping is a serious offence, especially when it comes to toxic or contaminated materials such as asbestos. According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) "heavy penalties for potentially harming human health and the environment" are in place, which range from on-the-spot fines of $7,500 for individuals, all the way up to $120,000 in some circumstances.
Corporations can even face fines of up to $5 million. A full breakdown of the penalties can be viewed here.
Aussies weigh in on 'dodgy' act
"Absolutely call council, they get into that stuff real quick. We had some illegal dumping of gyprock once on our front lawn. Council was super quick to come collect it," one person said.
"Whatever you do, don't disturb it," said another. "There's a good chance that it was dumped because it's known to be contaminated with asbestos..."
"Sadly this is an all too common a ruse in the trade — charge the client the considerable disposal fee, but instead of taking to the appropriate waste management, where you're charged to dispose of it properly, it ends up in some isolated patch of bush with pure profits for the dodgy operators," wrote a third.
"Notify council and local police, but I’m sorry to say I don’t think there’s much they can do unless there’s cameras they can pull footage from," another said.
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