The Environmental Protection Authority of Victoria has just announced it's latest addition to it's Strikeforce against illegal dumping. Executive Director of Regional Services, Damian Wells stated that the implementation of aerial surveillance will enable authorised officers to prosecute offenders in ordinarily remote locations with low visibility. The program builds on the work of EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce – a program dedicated to reducing the illegal dumping of industrial waste such as concrete, timber, bricks and asbestos.
The unmanned aerial vehicles *drones* will be fitted with a range of attachments to help officers calculate the volume of waste on a site, detect ‘hotspots’ via the use of thermal imaging and even collect air and water for sampling. More than 350,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste "often containing asbestos and other harmful substances" is dumped in Victoria each year at a cost to local councils in the millions of dollars.
So, in a Orwellian era of environmental crime fighting coupled with fines exceeding $800,000 for the illegal dumping of waste without a licence, will the community start to see cleaner surroundings? I guess only time will tell.