Waste, possibly containing asbestos, has been dumped illegally in a suburban street in Sydney’s west overnight, creating a large response from emergency services and council.
Police were called about 1am on Monday after the waste was found on Patricia Street in Chester Hill.
Fire crews were also called, and arrived to find a mixed 10-tonne load of rubbish.
Two hazmat crews made the area safe, taping off a large portion of the street.
Manager of the Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping Squad, Darryl Atkins said the truck driver had scoped out the street before making the dump.
“About 11.30 last night a truck, a construction vehicle has come down with a load of material [and] gone up and down the street a couple of times and for whatever reason has decided to unload its payload right here in the middle of the street,” Mr Atkins said.
“It is a bit of an unusual combination of material but definitely something that doesn’t belong on a residential street.”
“We’re finding that people in the waste and demolition and transport industries are tending to do this; they seem to want to cut corners and this is just not an appropriate material or place to undertake this sort of work,” he said.
Although fire crews treated the waste as if it definitely contained asbestos, Mr Atkins said samples were still being tested and it would be a few days before results were back.
Chester Hill: Tonnes of asbestos-contaminated waste have been dumped on Patricia Street with authorities involved in a delicate clean-up operation as police hunt for the culprit. The @NSW_EPA says it is investigating the incident. https://yhoo.it/2kNak2n #7News pic.twitter.com/EN3Ncag82X
The fee for asbestos-contaminated waste to be disposed of properly is $480 a tonne, Mr Atkins said, but fines applied for failing to dispose of it properly.
“For an individual, they can face a fine of $2000, and for a company it goes up to $4000,” he said.
“We also have the option of taking the matter through the courts and in that case it’s up to the court to impose the penalty, but the fines have gone right up to $1 million depending on the type of material and the volume of material.”
Resident Wayne Anderson said the huge waste dump was “something different” to wake up to.
“I heard a bit of noise last night but didn’t pay any attention to it,” he told Fairfax Media.
“Then woke up this morning for work to see the mess and the street taped off.”
While Mr Anderson could leave home for work, he said neighbours across the street would have found it difficult.
Police were appealing for anyone who might have dash cam footage of a tip truck in the area overnight to contact them.