1.1 An integrated approach
Combating illegal dumping is a key priority for the NSW Government and local communities.
NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one sets a target to reduce the incidence of large- scale (greater than 200 cubic metres) illegal dumping in Sydney, the Illawarra, Hunter and Central Coast by 30 per cent by 2016.
Illegal dumping is an environmental crime and can cause serious environmental pollution, pose a risk to human health, and impact local amenities and community pride. Cleaning up illegally dumped material is also a significant cost for local communities, councils and public land managers.
For the first time, NSW has a state-wide strategy, the NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy 2014–16 (the Strategy), designed to deliver an integrated approach to combat illegal dumping. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is charged with leading the work to deliver the Strategy, coordinating efforts of the many stakeholders working to combat illegal dumping, and managing the funding for that work.
The Strategy uses a multifaceted approach to combat illegal dumping. As part of the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, the NSW Government has allocated $58 million over five years to support initiatives across NSW, including a pilot program to trial innovative approaches to assist home renovators to dispose of small, non-commercial quantities of asbestos. The fund will also be used to enhance the EPA’s ability to detect and prosecute illegal waste operators.
1.2 Our vision
The NSW Government’s vision is to protect local environments from pollution by reducing the incidence of illegal dumping in our community.
To achieve this vision the Government aims to:
- reduce the incidence of illegal dumping
- reduce the social, environmental, health and financial impact of illegal dumping.
Based on feedback received from the consultation for the Strategy and the experience of the EPA, local councils and public land managers, and, six focus areas have been identified:
- Partnerships – build local community partnerships
- Building an evidence base
- Strategic enforcement – ramp-up waste compliance and enforcement
- Capacity building – help build expertise
- Education – spread the word
- Community engagement – motivate local communities.
The EPA will work closely with partners to deliver projects and results in these areas. Table 1 sets out the projects that will be run under each of these focus areas.
Partnerships are essential in delivering this strategy and local government, waste management groups, industry and community all have a significant role to play. The EPA will take the lead in fostering and maintaining these partnerships.