Illegal waste dumping reports

Residents have expressed outrage over recent reports of illegal waste dumping, with the Shire confirming there had already been 17 reported incidents in the region so far this year.

The issue was thrust back into the limelight after the most recent dumping on Clean Up Australia Day was posted on social media.

Resident Kaj Nieukerke discovered a trailer load of rubbish and washing machine parts scattered over the firebreak between Mississippi Bend and Eleven Mile Beach during a walk in Pink Lake on February 28.

“It is absolutely disgusting, dangerous and sets a bad example for others,” he said.

Mr Nieukerke said he was desperate to understand the real problem behind the issue.

“Could it be that the tip is either too expensive or too far for you?,” he said.

“Let us know so that we can actually address the real problem behind this issue.

“I see this happen around once a year and it’s sad because the area is beautiful.”

Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott said the shire had around 90 reports of illegal dumping in 2017.

“Illegal dumping is something that happens from time to time and it is disappointing due to the damage it could do to our natural environment,” he said.

“There are costs involved with cleaning up illegal dumping, but it is difficult to quantify as each is assessed on a case by case basis.

“If you do spot illegal dumping please contact the Shire so that it can be investigated and cleaned up.”

Pink Lake Recovery Project founder Chris Pope said there were absolutely no excuses for illegal dumping.

“Finger pointing and saying it is a shire problem and the tip fees are too expensive is rubbish,” he said.

“Forget the excuses, it’s just pure laziness.”

According to a Department of Water and Environmental Regulation spokesperson, the illegal dumping of waste was dangerous and presented a health hazard.

“It can impact on water supplies, causes visual pollution, increases fire risks, and threatens flora and fauna through the introduction and release of toxins and weeds,” the spokesperson said.

The department conduct around 220 illegal dumping investigations annually.

According to Main Roads WA, more than 900 tonnes of illegally dumped material was removed from roadsides and rest areas across the state in 2015, a 43 per cent increase on 2014.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, illegal dumping carries a maximum penalty of $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporate bodies.