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Crackdown on Illegal Dumping

OVERVIEW OF THIS HANDBOOK

Councils play a crucial part in managing and preventing illegal dumping in their local areas. They are most familiar with local conditions and problems and bear significant illegal dumping clean-up costs.

Local government has a considerable capacity to prevent illegal dumping as a result of its multiple roles in the community. Councils not only regulate illegal dumping incidents after they have occurred, but also have a crucial role in preventing illegal dumping through environmental planning, community education, providing waste collection and disposal services and managing public land.

In 2004, the DEC researched illegal dumping and its effect on local government in NSW. The research identified the need for the DEC’s leadership and co-ordination and recommended it develop an illegal dumping prevention guidebook for local government. This recommendation, together with funding received through the City and Country Program, drove the development of the Crackdown on Illegal Dumping handbook.

This handbook draws upon research by University College London into fly tipping in England. It is the first step in working with local government in NSW to crack down on illegal dumping and reduce the subsequent environmental, social and financial costs associated with this criminal activity. The handbook encourages a framework for preventing the illegal dumping of solid waste that focuses on minimising opportunities that give rise to illegal dumping. The DEC has also produced a Multi-Unit Dwelling Illegal Dumping Prevention Campaign Council Resource Kit (2006) to assist urban councils with high density residential populations.

Councils are responding to illegal dumping using a variety of methods with varying degrees of effectiveness*. This handbook is designed to help local government crack down on illegal dumping and its particular causes. It suggests well-designed and wellfocused methods that reduce opportunities for illegal dumping by modifying the environment, improving regulatory action, focusing education messages and improving services. If councils incorporate these methods into their illegal dumping prevention programs they can substantially curtail the illegal dumping of solid waste.

The idea is to make illegal dumping harder and less attractive by using the following illegal dumping prevention mechanisms:

  1. Increase the effort: make access difficult.
  2. Increase the risks of getting caught.
  3. Reduce the rewards: deny financial benefits.
  4. Reduce provocations: don’t give them a reason to dump.
  5. Remove excuses: educate and inform the community.

The information contained in the handbook is advisory in nature, and readers are encouraged to use it to develop procedures and policies to prevent illegal dumping relevant to local circumstances. It is not intended to be read cover to cover but to instead be a guide whose sections can be referred to when needed.

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