Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Backyards disguise secret toxic dumps: Australia

TONNES of hazardous waste have been secretly buried on private properties, hidden by layers of spray-on grass in Wollondilly, an important Sydney water-catchment area.

Residents have revealed that organised illegal dumping has been big business in the area for years, with some property owners filling unwanted gullies and dams with waste and being paid about $100 a truckload to take it.

The residents also said the dumps were often quickly disguised with a layer of top soil and spray-on lawn.

''Within a week you almost couldn't tell,'' said a long-term resident of the shire on Sydney's south-western fringe, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals.

The new MP for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell, told The Sun-Herald there had been 223 incidents of illegal dumping in the past two years, and - ''that's just the ones they caught''. He said waste was dumped on Burragorang Road last week, leading to the area known as The Oaks. (read more)