In an effort to curb illegal dumping in the Cobar Shire, the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s RidOnline portal was launched on Monday so the public can record and inform enforcement agencies of illegal dumping events.
Cobar Shire Council’s manager of planning and environmental services Stephen Poulter said illegal dumping occurs in every local government area in NSW and Cobar Shire is not exempt.
“The quantities, types of dumped rubbish and the frequency of events varies, but it remains an unfortunate issue that local government is responsible for managing.
“Each year we either proactively or reactively attend various areas in our Local Government Area (LGA) to examine instances of illegal dumping.”
He said they have also had an instance of illegal dumping less than 1km from the Cobar Waste Facility.
The NetWaste member councils of Cobar, Lachlan, Forbes, Parkes, Central Darling and Lithgow were awarded $120,000 in NSW government funding under the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative to identify illegal dumping hotspots within their local government areas.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for Cobar Shire as it enables us to gather information on instances of illegal dumping, which we had very limited funds to undertake in the past.
“The information obtained will allow us in the future to target specific areas of our LGA and to develop programs to reduce the reoccurrences of these events,” Mr Poulter said.
“The grant funding has enabled us to purchase three trail cameras that have been deployed in specific areas within the shire to identify illegal dumping events as well as training for key staff.
“To date, we have identified a number of illegal dumping events, which have been logged and investigated.”
Mr Poulter said illegal dumping can now be reported via the RidOnline database.
“It permits us to record information consistently in a manner that can be used for mapping processes, developing education and enforcement programs and providing a firm foundation for future prosecutions by Cobar Shire and other enforcement agencies.”
The RidOnline portal was demonstrated at the public launch on Monday at the Cobar Shire & TAFE Library with Councillor Greg Martin championing the program.
Cr Martin has a great deal of community experience, particularly in striving for a cleaner Cobar.
“Illegal dumping is an issue that needs addressing and the public can be part of the solution,” Mr Poulter said.