Clean-up crews at the site of an asbestos dump.
Clean-up crews at the site of an asbestos dump. FRNSW 468 Tweed Heads Fire Stati

A cleaner region is a happier region

STRICT crack downs on illegal dumping in the Northern Rivers will be occurring under a NSW Government strategy.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the state wide Illegal Dumping Strategy includes a $52 million compliance program to crack down on illegal asbestos disposal, illegal commercial operators and repeat offenders.

The $65 million strategy, open for comment, is funded over four years under the Government's $337 million Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

"Communities are fed up with illegal dumping...[it] puts people at risk, contaminates the environment and undermines legitimate recycling facilities. It also costs our community millions of dollars every year,” Ms Upton said.

This new strategy includes funding for preventative measures including surveillance cameras and regional illegal dumping squads and funding for clean-up operations.

Ms Upton said one in 10 NSW councils spend over $500,000 a year preventing, monitoring and cleaning up incidences of illegal dumping.

The strategy will focus on improving evaluation and monitoring, clean up, regulation and enforcement, community education and awareness, collecting data for social research and prevention measures.

Under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative, $30 million has been allocated until 2020 for the anti-litter program, Litter Prevention Strategy.

The strategy outlines the programs which will help meet the premier's priority of reducing litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.

Consultation forums will be held during June and July in regional NSW; forms close at 5pm July 31.

To read and comment on the strategies go to www.epa.nsw.gov.au/illegaldumping/draft-illegal-dumping-strategy.htm and www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wastestrategy/litterstrategy.htm.