Moree Plains Shire Council is calling on the community to help stop the illegal dumping of rubbish on private and public land.
As part of its commitment to improving the appearance of the shire's towns and villages, council encourages community members to use their smart phones to RID, or Report Illegal Dumping, activity in the shire, anytime and anywhere, using the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)'s illegal dumping reporting portal RIDonline.
Council's waste manager Tahra Sayers said one of the easiest ways we can all be involved is to take a whole-of-community approach to combat waste illegally dumped along our roadsides, in bushland or waterways.
She said council has spent thousands of ratepayer dollars investigating and removing illegally dumped materials from the perimeter of landfills, roadsides, river banks and open spaces.
"We know that illegal dumping is not a problem confined to the Moree Plains - the creation of RIDonline by the NSW EPA demonstrates that this is a problem shared across the state," Ms Sayers said.
"Not only is illegal dumping unsightly but it degrades the environment, risks public health and our community pays a high cost to clean it up.
"I think we would all prefer for ratepayers' funds to be expended in a more positive way for our shire, so we're calling for a collaborative effort with community members to help us reduce, and ultimately eradicate, illegal dumping across the Moree Plains Shire."
Ms Sayers said reporting illegal dumping can be done anonymously but it is important that as much information as possible is relayed so the matter can be investigated and enforcement action taken against those responsible.
"Using RIDonline is a great way to convey information about illegal dumping activities," she said.
"We need to know where and when the dumping took place and, if possible, the type of vehicle involved and its registration number.
"Of course, photographs are of great assistance. In addition, we are taking proactive action by subjecting known hotspots to surveillance."
Council has issued, and will continue to issue, clean-up notices, on-the-spot fines and, where necessary, prosecute offenders in the Land and Environment Court. Fines for individuals range from $250 to $4,000 and for businesses, between $1,500 to $8,000.
"I think we all want to be proud of where we live and I would appeal to those community members and businesses to think twice before dumping rubbish illegally," Ms Sayers said.