Illegally dumped waste causes a stir

Residents have spoken out on the prevalence of illegal dumping in the region after images emerged on the Esperance Community Page of syringes among masses of waste in bushland in Nulsen.

Resident Judith Kleinig posted the images to social media following a bushwalk with her father on Tuesday afternoon, July 9.

The post has since been shared three times and received more than 80 comments, many of which were posted by residents debating how the issue should be resolved.

“People need roadside pick up, done by our local shire, to actually help those who have no way of getting big items to the tip,” one commenter said.

Ms Kleinig said she was disgraced by what she witnessed and said there were a vast array of items being dumped at the site.

“It’s just disgraceful,” she said.

“There is quite a sizeable track and you often see or hear vehicles after dark going in and I have seen trailers returning uncovered and with a tarp in the back.

“There are often bed parts, mattresses and vehicle parts in the bushland but this lot, the rubbish we came across recently, there were syringes on the actual track itself and piles of yabbies, plastics, washing machines, tires and all sorts.

“You name it, it’s there.”

Having returned home to Esperance two years ago after leaving in 2014, Ms Kleinig said she believed illegal dumping activity in the area had more than doubled in recent years.

“It’s happening quite often and it’s absolutely trashing the bushland up there,” she said.

“There has definitely been an increase in this sort of thing and, just looking on Facebook at the comments I have received so far, the community know.

“The bulk of the drop offs are happening just beyond the bend.

“I was away from Esperance for just over two years and have been back for another two and I have noticed it has really increased.”

Ms Kleinig said she and many of the surrounding residents had contacted a number of agencies about the issue.

Ths Shire of Esperance confirmed that they investigated 90 reports of illegal dumping in 2017.

Shire chief executive officer Matthew Scott said the act was disappointing and urged residents to report the dumping and the location to the shire directly.

“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.”

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation conduct around 220 illegal dumping investigations annually.

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

If you come across waste you believe to have been illegally dumped, contact the Shire of Esperance on 9071 0666.