A recent spate of illegal dumping in the Shire of Kojonup has angered the community and left the shire seeking information. An anonymous community member drew attention to the first of a series of illegal dump sites discovered in the region with a social media post on January 7 posting photographs of rubbish strewn through the bush at Beaufort River. On January 18, photos of bagged-up green waste found dumped along Albany Highway were posted by the shire and more pictures of illegally dumped waste, including a red lawn mower discovered at Myrtle Benn Reserve, were uploaded on January 25 along with an appeal for information. Department of Water and Environmental Regulation senior manager of investigations Sally Heitman said that illegal dumping has a massive impact on the environment. “The effects include harm to flora and fauna, visual impact, leaching into soil, possible contamination of water sources, and possible fire hazards,” she said. “It also creates insect (mosquito) breeding habitats and increased cost to shires for collection and removal of rubbish and waste. “DWER uses covert cameras and surveillance teams to identify and prosecute people for illegal dumping and we are seeing regular convictions for these offences.” Illegal dumping is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and if convicted individuals face a maximum penalty of $62,500. DWER also investigates littering offences under the Litter Act 1979. Offences under the act attract a maximum penalty of $5000 for individuals. Witnesses to illegal dumping can report it to the DWER Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or through Crime Stoppers WA.