Operation Rubble puts illegal dumpers on notice in Macarthur

An exampling of illegally dumped materials. Picture: David Stewart
An exampling of illegally dumped materials. Picture: David Stewart

Watch out illegal dumpers - you're on notice.

Several councils, government agencies and police worked together in recent months to crack down on truck operators in Wollondilly and beyond who have been cutting corners to save money while disposing dangerous materials.

Operation Rubble - comprised of five NSW Regional Illegal Dumping squads, the Environmental Protection Authority, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Police, Wollondilly Council and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation - stopped more than 500 heavy vehicles, and delivered notices to more than 100 of them.

The statistics are even more dramatic in Wollondilly alone, where 17 waste-carrying heavy vehicles were inspected and 15 of them received defect notices.

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said illegal dumping was a "massive issue in the shire" and it was clear that truck operators were not getting the message.

"The unprecedented level of infrastructure projects in the wider Sydney are means were seeing more trucks than ever looking for places in the shire to dispose of potentially dangerous materials," he said.

"It can be quite pricey to do things the right way and get the appropriate paperwork done, so operators are looking for cheaper alternatives.

"Our mum and dad property owners need to be aware of this.

"If you're going to accept fill from truck operators, make sure all the paperwork is above board or you could find yourself in a sticky situation."

Cr Deeth urged property owners to "do their due diligence" before accepting waste, as the materials could include things like asbestos and demolition material.

The mayor said council workers were constantly receiving calls of dumped goods and picking up after the truck operators was eating into rate-payer funds.

Illegal dumping prevention coordinator James Vincent said the crackdown was "eye-opening".

"This operation has helped stop contaminated and other non-compliant material from being dumped illegally or passed off as clean fill to unsuspecting land owners," he said.

"It has also sent a very strong message that any behaviour which puts the community or environment at risk will not be tolerated.

"If someone did the wrong thing, Operation Rubble was on their case."