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The City of Canterbury Bankstown is investigating an illegal dumping of excavation material in a residential street.
A resident who heard the incident occurring just before midnight last night in Patricia Street, Chester Hill, raised the alarm with Fire and Rescue NSW. The matter is now being investigated by the Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Squad.
Sydney RID Squad Manager, Darryl Atkins, said eight tonne of material, mostly concrete, soil and some green waste was removed by officers this morning.
"A few small pieces, of what appeared to be asbestos, were also found and sent away for testing. The results are expected later this week.
"Any amount of asbestos is dangerous and we don’t want any of that material to be on a residential street. It is something we take very seriously."
Officers, as a precaution, treated the dumping as an asbestos-related matter, wetting the material and wearing protective clothing while removing it. The street, which was closed off to traffic during the process, was later re-opened.
Mr Atkins said investigators have a number of strong leads.
"Residents are our eyes and ears out in the community because we can’t be everywhere all the time. They often provide valuable information which assists in leading to the culprits and I am confident that will be the case again here," Mr Atkins said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the RID Squad on 131 555 or Council’s Customer Service Centre on 9707 9000.
"We’re finding people in the waste, demolition and transport industries are wanting to do this more and more," Mr Atkins said.
"They are seeming to want to cut corners and this is just not an appropriate material or place to undertake this sort of work. It’s dangerous, it’s hazardous, and obviously it impacts local residents as well."
Fines range between $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a company under the Transport for Unlawful Waste Act, on top of clean-up costs. However, if asbestos is found, the fines increase to up to $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for a company. Councils also have the opportunity to take the matter to Court, where fines up to $1.1 million can be imposed and a jail sentence of up to two years for repeat offenders.
In 2014, evidence collected by the then Bankstown Council resulted in the successful prosecution of Dib Hanna, dubbed Australia’s worst serial dumper. He was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and given a three-month suspended jail sentence.
The new City of Canterbury Bankstown was instrumental in forming the Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Squad in 2015. It operates out of Bankstown and covers eight council areas. In 2016-17, it carried out 60 investigations and imposed fines totalling almost $100,000.
8/03/2018 10:09 AM