A Bendigo man has been fined more than $1,900 for dumping a load of butcher shop waste in Bendigo Regional Park.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and Parks Victoria launched a joint investigation after a trail bike rider reported seeing a man dumping bones, fat and meat offcuts in the park at Lockwood.
EPA North West Regional Manager Dr Scott Pigdon says it was industrial waste and a hazard to the environment.
“Rotting or decomposing raw meat products can produce quite offensive odours and become heavily contaminated and infectious, with possible detrimental consequences for wildlife in the park,” Dr Pigdon said.
“EPA officers and Parks Victoria Rangers started with the eye witness report and worked together to successfully identify and locate the offender,” he said.
“One of the keys to success in this case was the accurate information received from a member of the public. We ask anyone reporting illegal dumping or other pollution to make note of any details they can; a number plate, a description and an accurate location can make all the difference.”
“Pollution affects everyone, and is an unwanted cost for the whole community; your prompt report with useful details can help to protect the environment and public health,” Dr Pigdon said.
Parks Victoria Ranger Team Leader Mathew Sobey says a recent survey revealed that 67 per cent of members of the public would dob in a dumper.
“It is pleasing to see the community acting to protect the parks that surround Bendigo,” Mr Sobey said
“Local businesses need to ensure they are disposing of their waste appropriately. We regularly patrol parks to ensure people are doing the right thing and investigate any reports of illegal dumping.”
Depositing industrial waste on Crown Land is a contravention of Section 27A(2)(a) of the Environment Protection Act 1970. The offender has been fined $1,934 and issued with an EPA Clean Up Notice requiring him to remove the waste from the park.
“EPA and Parks Victoria will not tolerate any illegal deposit of waste in our regional parks or bushland, whether it is industrial waste, household garbage or construction and demolition waste. We will investigate and any persons caught will be prosecuted,” Dr Pigdon said.
If anyone suspects pollution, they are encouraged to call EPA’s Pollution Hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).