Illegal Dumping On The Rise | Do the Right Thing |Need a Skip Now
While all our customers are doing the right thing by hiring a skip bin to dispose of their rubbish, there is a growing and concerning trend, spanning across all City Councils of Melbourne with the illegal dumping on the rise, particularly since the start of COVID-19 Pandemic.
What is Illegal Dumping
According to the definition from the Department of Water and Environement:
Illegal dumping is: " the unauthorised discharging or abandonment of waste and is an offence under Section 49A of the EP Act. On conviction, the offence carries a maximum fine of $125,000 for corporations and $62,500 for individuals."
Is Illegal Dumping the same as littering? While littering is an unlawful disposal of a small amount of waste, such as someone dropping their paper coffee cup on a nature strip or an empty can of coke, while illegal dumping assumes a much larger amount of waste illegally dumped in an unauthorised place.
Some of the examples from our day to day operations is when we get a phone call from a distressed customer, who says that he had someone drop a large amount of junk onto his vacant property or someone illegally dumped soil onto their property and now the owner is facing with the challenge and costs of cleaning it up.
It is even more challenging with soil as the disposal of soil is very highly regulated in Victoria and chances are that if the soil is illegally dumped, the perpetrator was unable or unwilling to dispose of soil, particularly if the soil was contaminated, i.e. mixed with other materials and it would be very expensive to dispose of it.
Hearing these stories from our customers is heartbreaking, as not only they have to bear the costs of disposal for someone else's rubbish, they also have to spend their time to research a proper way of disposal and also hope that it will not be a recurring offence.
Another growing form of illegal dumping occurs on various council lands, such as along the railway tracks, on people's nature strips (most often not their own nature strips), next to tennis clubs, schools and other commercial buildings, which are not patrolled at night, as most of these offences occur under the protection of the darkness.
When the rubbish is dumped illegally on a council land or any other commercial property's land and is then reported to the council, it inadvertently costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to the council, which will affect the council rates the following year and at the end of the day the tax payers and property owners will be paying for the offences of a few in their next year's rates.
Is Illegal Dumping a Criminal Offence?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Victoria, it is against the law to illegally dispose of waste. Illegally dumped waste causes pollution, affects our health and the environment and threatens our wildlife. Illegal Dumping costs Victorians $30 million a year.
EPA further expands its definition that Illegal Dumping doesn't only cover the rubbish that was dumped, but it also includes waste that was tipped or burried on either public or private land, which doesn't have the license to accept that waste. The most common examples of waste illegally dumped includes:
- TV's, computers (E-Waste)
- Construction & Demolition Waste
- Industrial Waste
- Garden Waste and Soil (a very big and growing concern)
- Old Cars
- Chemical Waste Stockpiles
EPA highly encourages anyone spotting an illegally dumped waste to immediately report it to their local council or to EPA hotline on 1300 372 842.
What Can Consumers Do About Illegal Waste Disposal
One of the sectors recognised as a large volume illegal dumpers are rogue waste transporting companies, which sometime have a contract with a city council. They dump the rubbish, collected from the curbsides and then get paid by the council to clean it up. To address this concerning trend, the EPA has introduced Electornic Waste Transport Certificates for Council Sub Contractors to ensure that there is also a proof of legal disposal of each waste load.
Another important role that customers can play is when ordering a Skip Bin from a Skip Hire Company, always enquire about what the company is doing about their rubbish. Where exactly their rubbish is going, is it going to be separated, recycled and how is it going to be disposed of. EPA has put a responsiblity onto the rubbish producer (i.e. households, businesses, construction sites) to pay the due diligence and know enough about their waste maanagement provider to ensure that rubbish collected is actually processed and disposed of in a legal and lawful way.
As an example - our company operates our own Waste Transfer Station. What that means is that each skip bin, picked up from our customer's site, business, factory or home is taken immediately to our waste transfer station, where bin is tipped onto a sorting concrete pad, where our excavator operator and labourers separate the waste into categories and then put certain waste types through a recycling trommel to even further clean and separate each material, in order to recover as much as possible and to divert all the recyclable waste away from landfill.
One of the ways to tell if the operator of a skip hire company is potentially disposing of your waste illegally is if he is offering skip bins at very low prices. This is suspicious in and of itself. Right now, since July 2021 the EPA levy in all the tips has increased by 61% hence making it absolutely impossible to offer very cheap bins, plus if the operator is recycling the waste, he needs to maintain a recycling yard with machinery and employees and to pay for all this operation, the bins need to be at least at par with the competitor's prices, unless the rubbish is being dumped illegally. To read more about potentially illegal or rogue operators and how to avoid them, check out our latest blog.
Fines for Illegal Waste Disposal
it appears that various councils have different sets of penalties when it comes to illegal dumping and littering. Below are just a few examples:
- City of Glen Eira - can fine anyone up to $2,000 for littering and illegally disposing of rubbish. Compare that to the cost of skip bin - from mini skip 2m3 of $337 to the largest bin in our stock of 31 cubic meters $1,877 and every other size in between, certainly works out cheaper than incurring a fine and creating a criminal record for yourself.
- City of Moreland - issues on a spot fines for littering between $119-$239 and up to $4,000 for illegal dumping, again far exceeding the cost of legally hiring a skip bin.
- City of Frankston - average fine for littering and illegal dumping is $1,866 plus the costs to clean up the waste
As our technological capacity expands, EPA and some City Councils are now employing the use of drones and other surveilance equipment to monitor high areas of concern and identifying and fining individual and businesses who knowinly or unknowingly cause illegal dumping.
Did you know that placing items on your naturstrip, whithout any planned or booked collection from your local council is also classified as illegal dumping?
How To Dispose of Rubbish Legally and Avoid Fines
We all know that illegal dumping is simply that - Illegal and there are heavy penalties and criminal consequences involved in proceeding down that route, as compelling and easy it might appear. What do we do to ensure we still dispose of unwanted rubbish, yet stay compliant with the regulations.
For starters - jump onto your local council's website and map out their planned rubbish collection dates and also what items are allowed to be placed into that colleciton pile. In addition, if the next collection is too far away in time period, some councils allow you to book extra collections from your nature strip in certain waste streams, like the City of Glen Eira Council, which allows up to 9 collections per year.
If you've utilised all your council collections or couldn't dispose of specific waste that council simply doesn't accept in their collections, then your most effective, legal and lawful way of waste disposal is via hiring a skip bin.
Skip bins come in a variety of Sizes, from 2 cubic meters mini skip, to 3 cubic meters, 4 cubic meters, 6 cubic meters (our best seller) and so on up to 31 cubic meters bulk bin, which is ideal for large factory clean up or if you are moving house and disposing of enormous amount of junk, which was accummulated for years.
The easiest way to book a skip bin is jumping online, looking at the bins and working out what size bin you need and what waste type you are disposing of and then can proceed to either booking online or giving our friendly customers service team a call for any questions 6 days a week on 1300 605 624.
We hope that you found this blog informative and should you have any specific questions about your waste disposal needs, please don't hesitate to contact us for an obligation free confidential discussion.