Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Combatting commercial dumpers

Illegal dumping case study – Blacktown City Council

Goal

Deter chronic commercial illegal dumping of construction, demolition and garden wastes in remote, bushland settings.

Actions

  • Surveillance camera footage of illegal dumping in Blacktown LGA Photo: Blacktown City Council

    Surveillance camera footage of illegal dumping in Blacktown LGA Photo: Blacktown City Council

    Improved data collection to identity illegal dumping hotspot areas. From these a subset of hotspots was chosen as being suitable for trialling camera surveillance.
  • Installed surveillance cameras to collect evidence required for prosecuting offenders.
  • Trialled a range of methods of covert camera set-up, determining that installing cameras at heights of 4–5m within trees captured the most informative images and prevented camera theft and damage.
  • Established strict data handling and storage procedures, ensuring issues of legality had been considered at each step.
  • Kept dumpers wary of establishing new hotspots and further curtailed camera theft by removing and rotating cameras immediately after prosecution notices were awarded.

Top tips

  • To effectively reduce illegal dumping it is crucial to identify and target prioritised offenders, then adopt a case-specific strategy.
  • Careful placement of cameras is essential; firstly to increase the chance of capturing information that will identify dumpers; and secondly to decrease the number of false triggers. This allows rangers to reduce the frequency of site visits to check cameras. (In this study visits were reduced from weekly to once a month.)
  • Camera surveillance captured sufficient evidence to identify dumpers, and strict policies about handling of evidence enabled successful prosecutions.

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015