The community is being warned about new efforts to catch and prosecute illegal dumpers across the Bega Valley.
Funding from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has helped to appoint a new ranger who will identify sites that need to be cleaned up or closed off to stop illegal dumping.
The new ranger will also investigate, gather intelligence and prosecute individuals or corporations caught dumping waste illegally.
The BVSC is calling on the public to help them in their efforts.
Senior ranger Peter Miles said: “People are encouraged to report any incidents or locations of dumped waste they are aware of, so that the Council may build a database of incidents and take the relevant actions required.”
Penalties for people caught dumping waste range from a $1500 on the spot fine, to $1million and 7 years jail if the illegal waste disposal causes serious environmental harm.
Penalties for corporations caught illegally dumping waste are even higher.
As well as prosecution and deterrence, Mr Miles says that the focus is on education.
By increasing community awareness of the problems associated with waste dumping, council hopes people will show pride in their local environment and do the right thing.
"Our ecosystems are fragile," he explained.
"Any encroachment by rubbish or weeds can be detrimental to the environment."
The local initiative is part of a NSW Government strategy, "NSW 2021: a plan to make NSW number one," which lists combating illegal dumping of waste as a key priority.
State-wide, the items most commonly found dumped include household waste, white goods, building waste and green waste.
Problems associated with dumped waste are that green waste often continues to survive, and leads to severe weed infestations.
"Weed infestation is a major issue," Mr Miles said.
"There are a lot of residential properties around which have ready access to a reserve.
"So often those reserves are degraded by people dumping something as simple as lawn clippings, which creates a weed infestation that council has to deal with."
White goods and other ferrous metal objects rust away, which can contaminate local streams with an orange sludge.
Depositing metal objects at the waste depot is free, because the items can be recycled.
All e-waste, such as televisions, computers and peripherals, can now be dumped for free at the Merimbula Waste Depot, off Sapphire Coast Drive near Tura Beach.
Mr Miles says the Council would be interested in any information people have about unusual activities, such as people towing trailers down a bush track, or places people may be aware of where people are dumping rubbish periodically.
To notify council call 6499 2222, and ask for the ranger for illegal dumping.