Residents in the South Australian suburb of Campbelltown have been put on notice over illegal asbestos dumping, with the council installing mobile surveillance cameras as part of a trial to catch those responsible in the act.
The council has agreed to a four-month trial to monitor illegal activities, after a number of incidents where they were required to remove dumped asbestos and chemicals that were illegally discarded on roadsides and curbs.
“These substances could find their way into our waterways causing irreversible damage to the environment,” the report from council reads.
The council has chosen not to reveal the sites of the cameras that will be installed, only that they are going to be placed in “known areas” which are “commonly used for illegal dumping” where there is little “passive surveillance”.
“Illegal dumping and hoon driving are quite common complaints received from the community,” the report reads.
Mayor of the Campbelltown Council, Jill Whittaker, explained that the council has had to engage contractors over seven separate occasions in the last year. The council recorded 579 complaints of illegally dumped material in the last financial year.
“There are some known common dumping sites which would be monitored by a camera,” Ms Whittaker said.“There’s been a lot of dumping going on.”
“(Salisbury Council) staff have noticed that where the cameras are placed there has also been a significant reduction in the occurrence of vandalism, illegal dumping and graffiti.
“They have reduced hoon activities in selected streets and reduced staff time in collecting illegally dumped rubbish and the disposal costs.”
The cameras that are scheduled to be installed are solar-powered cameras that alert monitoring staff when movement is detected. Footage which can be viewed in real-time or pulled from recorded footage will be provided to SA Police, who can also pass it on the local branch of the Environmental Protection Authority.
Cr Anna Leombruno said there is room to expand the trial if it is found to be effective. “If it’s effective we can add more,” Cr Leombruno said. “To not do something is a mistake. We see a lot of this illegal dumping at the moment.”