25 September 2023

Cross border clamp on dirty dumpers

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The NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has sought the assistance of the ACT and local Councils to catch rogue operators selling waste soil from construction sites as ‘clean fill’ to unsuspecting property owners.

Senior Officer at NSW EPA, Janine Goodwin said the coordinated crackdown included compliance and roadside checks to ensure that fill was going to a site that had approval to accept it.

“Targeting these operators during transportation will help stop contaminated and other non-compliant material from being dumped illegally or passed off as clean fill to innocent land owners,” Ms Goodwin said.

“Accepting large amounts of fill can create potential dust issues and pollute waterways. In the worst cases, some operators are providing unsuspecting residents with soil – cheaply or for free – only for the resident to find it’s contaminated with building and demolition waste, heavy metals or even asbestos.”

She said Councils required landholders to apply for development approval to bring larger volumes of fill onto private property.

Narelle Sargent, of the ACT EPA said that waste being transported between the ACT and NSW needed approval.

“Transporters and builders are on notice that the illegal transport and disposal of waste will not be tolerated in the ACT region, and large penalties apply,” Ms Sargent said.

The Manager of Waste Regulation at ACT NoWaste, Alex Taylor said that any movements of waste (including waste soil) into, out of, or within the ACT could only be undertaken by businesses registered as waste transporters under the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act (Act) 2016.

“Penalties apply to businesses transporting waste without a registration under the Act,” Mr Taylor said.

“If you suspect someone is doing the wrong thing, phone the NSW EPA on 131 555 or Access Canberra on 132 281,” he said.

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