(Photo: National Environment Agency)

A moving services director was fined $9,000 last Thursday for illegally dumping furniture in Jalan Terusan, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Tuesday (Nov 12).

NEA said in a statement that its officers had found more than 20 pieces of bulky, illegally dumped furniture during their routine surveillance.

Their investigations showed that after the director had provided moving services to a customer on Sept 30 last year, he dumped the furniture in Jalan Terusan to save on disposal fees.

The agency said the furniture should have been sent to second-hand dealers or recyclers, and that what the director did was an offence.

The man was charged with dumping waste from a vehicle in a public place.

The maximum fine for the offence is $50,000, up to 12 months' jail, or both. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $100,000, jailed for one to 12 months, or both.

NEA said that illegally dumping waste in a public place is a serious offence as it causes pollution and public health hazards.

The agency added that it "takes a serious view of illegal dumping and will not hesitate to take strict enforcement action against anyone found to be in violation of the Environmental Public Health Act".

NEA said the number of illegal dumping cases has dropped from 160 in 2000 to 53 in 2018, because of its enforcement efforts and close surveillance.

To deter illegal dumping acts, it deploys surveillance cameras at hot spots, and seeks deterrence sentences against repeat offenders in court.

The agency advised members of the public to call its hotline on 1800-CALL-NEA (1800-2255-632) if they witness any illegal dumping activities, with information such as the date, time and location of the incident. Other information to take note of include the registration number of the vehicle used to carry the waste, as well as supporting photos and video clips.

Written by Jean Iau for The Straits Times.