Illegal asbestos dumping costs Sydney man more than $50,000

A Sydney truck driver who illegally dumped 3.6 tonnes of waste containing asbestos in Clemton Park in south west Sydney has been fined $27,200 and ordered to pay costs of almost $23,000 in Burwood Local Court, following a successful prosecution by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

pile of illegally dumped waste including asbestosOn 7 March 2018, Charles Mokbel demolished a burned down shed containing asbestos at a house in Belmore Park. He loaded the waste into a tipper truck without covering the load, and then drove to Hillside Avenue in Clemton Park. Without getting out of the truck, he dumped the waste onto the road close to residential dwellings.

A witness reported the incident and the NSW Environment Protection Authority investigated and prosecuted Charles Mokbel, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Magistrate Viney at Burwood Local Court on Monday 25 November 2019.

In handing down the decision, Magistrate Viney said Mr Mokbel knew that dumping the waste was unlawful and that he was reckless as to whether the waste contained asbestos.

Her Honour also said it was clear that Mr Mokbel was trying to avoid disposal costs. The Court found that it was only by good fortune that the waste was contained quickly.

Mr Mokbel was fined $22,000 for unlawfully transporting and dumping waste and $5,200 for not covering the transported load.

He was also ordered to pay the EPA’s legal costs of $16,000 and clean-up and investigation costs of $6,967.

EPA Director Waste Compliance Greg Sheehy said dumping asbestos illegally is potentially harmful to the community and the environment.

“This prosecution and conviction sends a clear message – if you think you can get away with illegal dumping, think again.

“The EPA is actively pursuing offenders, and we will prosecute,” Mr Sheehy said.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm