We might not think too seriously about it when we put the wrong piece of rubbish in the wrong bin. But what about tonnes of waste being improperly disposed of? How might that affect us?
It’s an unfortunate truth that illegal dumping and improper waste management are on the rise in Australia – notably so in Perth and WA. This is largely a result of the increased levy that is to be paid when taking waste to the landfill. While the government is trying to encourage industrial companies to dispose of their waste through recycling, the companies themselves are taking the toll.
The landfill rate used to be just $12 per cubic meter of waste, but over the past few years it has been pushed up to $90, and it is set to increase even more, to $105 per cubic meter, by July. Companies are finding that if they were to pay these rates, they would be out of business. In order to avoid this, they are taking their waste elsewhere, where it may not be monitored correctly and could lead to harmful chemicals being released into the environment.
A report by Perth Now found that Perth’s drinking water catchment had been polluted as a direct result from waste stockpiles. These stockpiles accumulate because businesses cannot afford to pay the landfill levy, and are instead forced to hold onto their waste until they can find a way to dispose of it otherwise.
Water in Perth’s drinking water catchment was tested and was found to have an increased concentration of nitrates, heavy metals, and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and while the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations assures us that it poses no risk to Perth’s drinking water, it’s still a concerning discovery.
Water pollution can not only be harmful to humans – causing nausea and headaches among other things – but also to the environment. If the pollution becomes too much, it can have a lethal effect on the local marine life.
One of the main concerns for improperly disposed of waste is lingering asbestos fibres. While any demolition crew knows that it is a requirement to remove all asbestos from a house before it is demolished, this is not always done. And what can be said about any fibres lingering in the sheeting, tiles, or plasterboards? If these areas are missed and the waste is sent to be crushed, the lingering asbestos could be a real danger to those surrounding the area.
Similarly, the dust produced from crushing down waste can contain many contaminants. If they are not disposed of properly, this dust can all too easily be blown into nearby towns. While not as dangerous as asbestos, it still poses a risk to neighbouring areas.
While there’s nothing you can do to stop illegal dumping or the increase of the landfill levy, it is true that every little bit helps. Every time you recycle or dispose of your waste properly, you are helping the environment.
And on a larger scale, if you do have a house renovation coming up, or you’re looking to rid yourself of some of the waste that has piled up in your house and garden, or perhaps you’re looking to clean up your workyard or do some small-scale industrial work, hiring a skip bin is a great way to ensure that your waste is handled responsibly. At Bonza Bins, we make sure all of your waste is properly disposed of, so you have nothing to worry about.