A load of construction and demolition waste containing asbestos found at Wollert has triggered a joint investigation by the City of Whittlesea and Environment Protection Authority, EPA, Victoria.
City of Whittlesea officers found the waste by the side of Summerhill Road and called in the EPA to investigate and prosecute the pollution offences.
Council has now removed the construction and demolition waste, which included timber, roof guttering and tiles and asbestos cement sheeting, and sent it for safe disposal.
EPA northern metro regional manager Jeremy Settle said illegally dumped waste from building, renovation or demolition projects was a regular problem.
“Unscrupulous operators are known to avoid the cost of taking waste to a properly licensed facility for disposal or recycling, by dumping loads in rural areas, parks and state forests, creeks, and even back streets and industrial areas,” he said.
“They might be doing the building or demolition themselves, or they might present themselves as waste removal contractors, attracting unsuspecting customers by offering extra-low prices that undercut legitimate local businesses.
“The asbestos of any kind is subject to strong regulation and must be removed, packaged and transported properly to ensure it presents no hazard to the environment and community.”
City of Whittlesea chief executive Craig Lloyd said council’s waste officers discovered the dumped load while patrolling a known litter hot spot along Summerhill Road in Wollert.
He said the officers located evidence within the building waste that enabled them to determine the source of the illegal dump. He said they forwarded the information to the EPA for its investigation.
“Illegal dumping costs our community hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and creates an eyesore for our residents, while also potentially damaging the environment,” he said.
“The City of Whittlesea has no tolerance for illegal dumping and offenders will be held accountable for their actions.”
Members of the public can report illegal dumping and other types of pollution to the EPA’s 24-hour hotline by calling 1300 372 842, or by providing details online at epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/reporting-pollution.
People can also report illegally dumped rubbish in the City of Whittlesea at whittlesea.vic.gov.au/litter or by calling 9217 2107.