Many of our public spaces are being ruined by illegal dumping of household, garden and building waste.
What is illegal dumping?
Illegal dumping is the unlawful deposit of any type of waste material that is 200 litres or more in volume (about the volume of a wheelie bin), and penalties apply.
Common illegally dumped items include:
- household rubbish and garden waste
- household goods (such as whitegoods, TV’s, mattresses and furniture)
- building waste (construction and demolition materials)
- tyres, chemical drums and paint tins
Leaving items on the footpath (outside of organised collection days) or outside a charity bin or shop is also classed as illegal dumping. Doing this costs charities and councils thousands of dollars to clean up—money that could be spent on important community services.
Donating to charity is great, but please don’t let your good deed go to waste! If your items are too big to fit into a charity bin, then drop it off in-store.
Report illegal dumping
Regardless of whether the land is public or private, illegal dumping is a crime and should be reported.
Note as many details of the incident as possible, including time, date, location, descriptions of the people involved, vehicles and number plates and anything else noticed.
Call 000 if the incident presents an immediate threat to human health or property, such as toxic fumes or a large chemical spill. Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Police and the NSW Ambulance Service are the first responders, as they are responsible for controlling and containing incidents.
Once you’ve made your report, our team will get in touch. We’ll keep your report fully confidential.
Report littering from a vehicle
If you see someone littering from their vehicle, you can report them to the EPA. Fines from $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation can be issued from your report.
To report littering from a vehicle you need to
- have actually seen the litter being thrown, or blown, from the vehicle
- provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place
- report the incident within 14 days
Why is illegal dumping a problem
Illegal dumping pollutes our environment and significantly diminishes the use, enjoyment and value of our public places—making our communities and natural areas look dirty and uncared for, unpleasant to be in, and less likely to be used by the public
A poor and uncared for environment leads to more dumping, other illegal activities and antisocial behaviour. This, in turn, can lead to reduced community pride and property values.
Illegal dumping costs our community thousands of dollars each year in waste management and clean-up expenses. Illegal dumping of items containing chemicals or asbestos can directly cause harm or injury to humans and wildlife, and major pollution.
Animals can also become entangled in dumped items leading to injury and death. Illegal dumping can also introduce pests and weeds into our natural areas, block waterways and roads, cause flooding (by blocked drains) and facilitate higher rates of erosion by smothering natural vegetation cover.
Why does illegal dumping happen?
People may illegally dump waste:
- on the spur of the moment
- to avoid disposal fees at tip sites or
- because they do not want to spend the time or effort disposing of or recycling their waste properly.
Offenders often go to extraordinary lengths to illegally dispose of waste and avoid detection and prosecution. Ironically, legal disposal may have cost far less in fuel, time and effort and many of the items illegally dumped such as garden waste, white goods and computers can be easily recycled.