Illegal dumpers of rubbish take note; you are being watched

CLARENCE Valley Council rangers are now fully trained in the use of video surveillance technology and will be deploying cameras in known trouble spots in order to nab offenders.

NE Waste illegal dumping coordinator, Tash Morton, said Clarence Valley Council officers and others who attended a recent course learnt how to install and maintain electronic surveillance devices (cameras).

"They also learnt management of evidence gathered and updated their knowledge on the relevant legislation that applies to the use of surveillance cameras for law enforcement purposes," she said.

"Cameras are getting smaller and easier to hide and the technology is improving all the time.

"The rangers left the course confident cameras will play a significant part in helping them to reduce illegal dumping across the region."

Clarence Valley Council spends more than $100,000 a year cleaning up dumped waste from river banks, reserves, roadsides and parks.

Compliance officer, Phil Townsend, said it was money that could be better spent on recycling initiatives or improving parklands.

Cameras have been used successfully in other regional areas of NSW to reduce illegal dumping and to catch dumpers. Fines in NSW for dumping recently increased to $4000 on-the-spot fines for individuals and $8000 for corporations.

Dumpers will also be required to clean up the dumped materials or pay for the clean up costs. If the materials dumped contain hazardous materials such as paints, chemicals or asbestos the fines are even greater.

If residents have information regarding illegal dumping they can report it online at http://www.illegaldumping.com.au or phone the council on 6643 0200 and talk to a customer services officer.

The training was a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.



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