Illegal dumping can be a major issue for Australian local governments – from unwanted clothes outside charity stores, to waste dumped in bushland, the more residents consume, the more has to be disposed of. Choosing a smart security camera can make a world of difference by catching illegal dumpers in the act.

Illegal dumping is a broad phrase used to describe everything from people disposing of clothes or furniture outside the front of a charity store, through to construction and environmental waste being offloaded in the bush.

Although seemingly harmless enough, illegal dumping brings a set of insidious problems with it, including the cost of recovery and legal disposal of items, environmental clean-up and the loss of aesthetic in community spaces.

Spectur is an Australian technology solutions company that writes its own software and designs its own hardware in Australia – and knows the effects of illegal dumping on local councils too well.

Spectur Managing Director, Dr Gerard Dyson, said that for some councils the direct costs of illegal dumping can exceed a million dollars per year and be a massive drain on finite budgets. Dr Dyson said that most illegal dumping occurs at night, which is when the offenders think they cannot be identified or stopped.

Stopping illegal dumping before it happens

Spectur’s defence systems actively prevent illegal dumping using solar-powered sensing, thinking and acting platforms that can identify illegal dumpers, notify them in the moment (an alarm and verbal warning will sound), record the event and advise first responders.

“The wireless platforms can be installed in vulnerable areas and the camera (or up to four cameras per system) can be oriented to survey points of entry, egress or likely dumping points,” Dr Dyson said.

“The systems use advanced motion detection algorithms and artificial intelligence to identify vehicles or persons and automatically deploy a loud spoken warning and lighting; to notify the potential dumpers that they have been identified, first responders advised, and their actions recorded.

“This usually stops the dumping before it starts.”

AI preventing false alarms

Spectur’s system alarms use cutting-edge technology to identify real threats. The system can filter out motion detection false alarms caused by strong winds, moving branches, animals or even shadows due to passive infrared (PIR) sensors and motion detection algorithms.

It then uses visual Artificial Intelligence (AI) to examine images and determine if there is a real threat (person, vehicle) in the image, prior to activating deterrence functions.

“This filtering allows the deterrence functions to be effective rather than a constant false alarming nuisance that rapidly gets turned off or ignored,” Dr Dyson said.

Yielding real-world results for councils

Spectur’s technology is used by many local governments around Australia.

“We have many examples of where our systems have identified a person or a vehicle about to commit a dumping act,” Dr Dyson said.

Dr Dyson said that for those who are still compelled to dump their waste, Spectur’s systems have also been very effective at supporting identification and prosecution.

“We are aware of one local council that has issued more than 400 fines related to illegal dumping from a single Spectur system,” Dr Dyson said.

“Customer surveys undertaken by Spectur have indicated that the frequency of criminal acts is reduced by about 90 per cent following installation of a Spectur solution.

“For those that continue, the consequences of the crimes are also reduced by (on average) 90 per cent.”

1 Comment
  1. Tony Turpin 2 years ago

    Seems like an advertisement for a “big brother” type solution of punishment. Where is the counter-point around community engagement and determining “why” there is the for so much dumping. Has the dumping stopped or just moved somewhere else?

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