Wingecarribee Shire Council Rangers are seeking information regarding the dumping of mulch following complaints from a number of locations across the Shire.
Several tonnes of fresh mulch have recently been dumped in Centennial Reserve in Bowral and Bundanoon’s Ferndale Reserve.
Council’s Regional Illegal Dumping Project Officer Sara Rich believes the mulch may have originated from recent tree felling activities in the area.
“Some people may not view discarded mulch in the same way they view abandoned furniture or a burnt-out car,” she said.
“However the reality is it’s still illegally dumped material and someone else has to bear the cost of its removal.”
“Council reminds all home landscapers and professional arborists that illegal dumping is a criminal offence and offenders can be prosecuted.”
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, penalties include fines of up to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for corporations who unlawfully dispose of waste on Council owned or managed lands.
Residents who witness incidents of illegal dumping are urged to contact Council.
“The more information that is supplied the better,” Ms Rich said. “Details such as the street location, date and time of the incident will all assist in helping us obtain a prosecution.”
“If the car registration details can also be safely obtained – this can also help.”
Anyone with information on the dumping is urged to contact Council’s Rangers on (02) 4868 0888. Any information received will be held in strict confidence.
Council reminds members of the public to not attempt to remove or fossick through any dumped material.
“Because we don’t know where the mulch originated, and until an analysis of its contents is conducted, there is no way in determining if it contains any hazardous materials that may require specialist removal,” Ms Rich added.
“Public reserves are designed for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Rich said. “While the offenders may think they’re saving a few dollars they’re actually ruining the amenity of others.”
As a result of the recent dumpings, Council will consider installing surveillance cameras in Public Reserves known for illegal dumping activity.
For more information on reporting incidents of illegal waste dumping phone the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) on phone 131 555 or visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/litter-and-illegal-dumping/report-illegal-dumping.