WHAT’S worse than dumping a large load of asbestos-contaminated material on public land near a creek in Shellharbour?
Getting bogged while you’re in the act, and having to ask nearby council workers for help to get out.
That’s allegedly what happened to one man in Oak Flats last week, and it could cost him thousands.
In a case destined to be remembered as the “Dumb and Dumper” incident, a contractor was busted by Shellharbour City Council after getting bogged mid-way through his alleged illegal dumping session on Mineral Rd, Oak Flats.
A council spokeswoman said staff who were working nearby saw the man driving onto the grass area near the Horsley Inlet creek and dump between five and seven tonnes of asbestos contaminated material.
”Upon leaving the area the truck became bogged in wet soil,” she said.
Help was on hand but from the worst people possible for this guy: the council.
“A council tractor pulled the truck out [and] all details were obtained handed over to Shellharbour City Council’s compliance unit,” the spokeswoman said.
“Council employees observed remnants of asbestos pieces in the soil. Six pieces were seized and conveyed to Clear Safe Labs at Unanderra and confirmed to be asbestos the following day.”
The savvy alleged dumper was not done. He challenged the findings that the material contained asbestos and organised his own tests from another lab. They too came back positive, the council spokeswoman said.
He would have another excuse in store.
“He stated that he dug the dirt out from a driveway and was not aware of any asbestos in the soil,” the spokeswoman said. “He stated he was going to leave the dirt at the location for a short time and return to collect the soil.”
The man is expected to be fined. The cost of clean-up is relative to size and can be more than $10,000. The person of interest is required to pay for this. Shellharbour council said Illegal dumping of asbestos occurs in the city about 20 times a year, and finding the culprit is often hard, so council was pleased with this result.