Officers from three government departments said they would today investigate an illegal dump off Shek O's main beach after receiving a letter from frustrated residents demanding a cleanup. The dump is about 1,800 sq ft and sits at the west end of the beach, between a temple and barbecue area. For at least a year, people have dumped chairs, bed frames, electrical appliances, clothes, shoes, and black refuse sacks full of rubbish, residents say. 'I have noticed a significant increase in size over the last few months,' said a resident who wished to remain unnamed. 'The person responsible for this needs to be held accountable.' Residents say someone is taking rubbish out of the Shek O Refuse Centre - a designated area to dispose of household items - and carrying it to the illegal dump, not more than 100 metres away. The dump, which is only visible from a concrete path leading up the hillside, backs onto a stream that feeds directly into the sea. Industrial pallets beside the stream hold the debris - about 2 metres high in areas - in place. 'It was beautiful before, full of trees and bush and left alone in its natural state,' said another resident. 'I'm disgusted and saddened that there's such a lack of respect for the area.' Residents sent a letter to three government departments, including the Environmental Protection Department, which assigned a case officer to the situation. The officer said a team would visit Shek O today to try to find out who is responsible for the debris, and would then decide what action to take. The team will also look into the land's ownership. 'Because the EPD isn't responsible for cleaning up government land, we need to discuss the location with the land department before it can be arranged as to who will clean up the site,' he said. The other departments, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, said they would today send a team to begin cleaning up the site. The letter was also sent to the latter's overseer of the southern district, Yuen Wing-ming, who inspected the site yesterday. District Councillor for Shek O, Chan Lee Pui-ying, could not be reached for comment. Thierry Chan Tak-chuen, a researcher with the Civic Exchange, involved in the Hong Kong implementation of the International Coastal Cleanup project, was shocked. 'I hadn't heard about it. The public should be more aware and considerate when it comes to respecting beaches and keeping the coastlines tidy,' he said.