Men fined $17k for dumping expired Cheetos snacks, yoghurt outside charity

Men fined $17k for dumping expired Cheetos snacks, yoghurt outside charity

Two men have been fined $17,000 for illegally dumping expired food outside a charity store in Sydney’s west.

The pair were first caught on camera discarding about 40 boxes of Cheetos Puff snacks from a white van outside the Salvation Army store at Chester Hill in February.

A council investigation found the products expired last year and issued the driver a $2000 fine for transporting excess waste to an unlawful waste facility.

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The same driver came back to the store with a friend in May, where they unloaded 60 boxes of yoghurt dips, which had expired in 2022, at the entrance.

This time, council issued them a $15,000 fine.

“I cannot believe someone would stoop so low, to donate out-of-date goods to a charity trying to assist those in need,” Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said.

“They have no shame and obviously don’t realise the dire consequences of providing the expired products.”

Lifeline commercial operations general manager Mark Jeffery said it was disappointing that charities were left to pay for the disposal of junk illegally dumped outside their stores.

“It’s become a bigger problem with waste management, tip fees going up,” he said.

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With illegal dumping costing ratepayers $300 million each year, councils across the state were given greater powers to penalise offenders in April.

Corporations could face a fine from $15,000 to a maximum of $50,000 while individuals could see $25,000 to $75,000.

The most serious of offences have risen to $10 million.

“The fines have changed dramatically, there’s some fines that have doubled five, six times,” El-Hayek said.

“Hopefully this will deter people.”

A new state government grant will allow councils to also install security cameras at dumping hotspots to catch those doing the wrong thing. 

Residents are encouraged to report instances of illegal dumping by calling Council on 9707 9000.

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