Council staff injured while picking up illegally dumped toxic chemicals

Residents are being warned about the dangers of illegal dumping after three Tweed Shire Council employees were injured while removing an illegally dumped pile of rubbish.

“The worst possible consequences of illegal dumping were almost realised in a recent incident where three employees were lucky to escape with minor injuries,” Tweed Shire Council said in a statement.

It’s understood the staff members were splashed with and inhaled fumes from a chemical, thought to be hydrochloric acid.


Council’s Manager Infrastructure Delivery Tim Mackney said the incident, which occurred just prior to Christmas, could have resulted in tragic outcomes for those involved.

“All of our staff are educated about safety procedures but clearly in this case the workers were put into a highly dangerous situation by the irresponsible actions of someone dumping this toxic substance illegally,” Mr Mackney said.

“Thankfully on this occasion these workers avoided severe injuries but that doesn’t alter the fact that this substance could have been taken to the tip by the residents and disposed of safely for free – which would have avoided all risks.”

Tweed residents are being reminded that they can take up to 20L of household chemicals to the permanent chemical collection facility at Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre for free, all-year-round.

Council said the chemical involved in the incident was stored in a plain, white, 5L plastic container with no warning labels.