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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5362
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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I have been blamed for illegal dumping by the council

Customer Question

I have been blamed for illegal dumping by the council because of some receipts with the rubbish that was found that had my name and address on it and now stuck in a confusing situation which is hard to explain tithe council , what's the best solution about this ?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

Have you any thoughts on how your receipts may have gotten into this dumped rubbish?
Do you know how when and where you disposed of these receipts?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
This rubbish about 8 bags was disposed off by my parents , and do not want them to get involved but I didn't know they illegally dumped it somewhere now I have an interview tomorrow with the council should I tell them the truth and face the heavy fine or deny it and maybe say someone took it from the front of the house thinking maybe it would contain bags of clothes ??
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
This is in nsw btw
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 4 months ago.

What was the nature of the waste?

Very different penalties apply if the offence relates to material that could harm the environment, as opposed to littering. So if it was just paper and other biodegradable material the offence is relatively minor, however, if there toxic substances included in the waste it may involve a much more serious charge.

Also, do you know your parents disposed of eight bags, or is it possible the fact that eight bags were involved indicates your parents rubbish was dumped along with other peoples?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My mum just said it was stuff from my baby shower nothing harzouds I don't think , but can I just ask do I get charged when I call you ? Or per question ? Yes my parents said they dumped it in a place where there were so many other rubbish from other people including furniture , and I'm scared they might think it's all mine ?
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 4 months ago.

You are charged for each question, and if you want me to call you there is an extra charge, but I'm not sure that is necessary.
I cannot advise you to lie, but if you are not sure how your rubbish got there then that's what you should tell them.
Generally to charge someone with an offence they will have to demonstrate who exactly dumped the rubbish. The mere fact they may suspect someone from your or your parents house is not sufficient to allow them to prosecute anyone, assuming the council is contemplating a littering charge:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/poteoa1997455/s145.html
More serious offences may allow them to charge the owner of waste even if they cannot prove the owner themselves dropped off the waste, but that would be unlikely to apply to ordinary domestic rubbish of the type you describe.

I trust the above assists.

Please rate my answer, or if you want a call to discuss the matter further, please be aware there are additional charges for that service.

Thanks,

Patrick