Illegal dumping and litter
Illegal dumping and littering are serious problems in the MidCoast, and have significant environmental and financial impacts on our region.
Not only is dumping and littering harmful to our environment, it costs our community significantly to clean up waste that is not disposed of correctly.
Illegal dumping varies from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to larger scale dumping of waste materials in isolated areas such as bushland.
Household and demolition waste are the most common type of illegally dumped waste in the MidCoast region - both of which can be disposed of easily and responsibly through our waste management facilities.
Illegal dumping includes:
- Domestic household items such as discarded mattresses, white goods and old furniture, commonly found outside homes on the kerbside
- Green waste including palm fronds, commonly found over the back fence, on vacant blocks or in bushland
- Construction and demolition waste
- Unauthorised land filling. If you are the landowner, you may be accepting fill that may affect the health of your family or devalue your land. Check with Council to find out what approvals are required
- Household or commercial waste disposed of in or around public litter bins
- Hazardous materials such as asbestos
Every year, over 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW, posing a major threat to the local environment, wildlife and costs ratepayers.
The most common types of litter in NSW include cigarette butts, paper/paperboard, plastic, glass and takeaway packaging.
Around 50 million plastic bags enter the Australian litter stream every year, with 75 per cent of marine litter identified as plastic, and most of that comes from the land.
Takeaway containers are also a big contributor to litter, making up 23% of the litter in NSW.
Cigarette butts are also a major problem, they are toxic and leach chemicals into waterways.
You can be fined
Fines of $4,000 can be issued on the spot, with maximum penalties up to $250,000 for individuals and $1 million for corporations.
If our rangers see you littering you can be dealt a one the spot $80 fine. If you are caught littering from a vehicle the NSW EPA can fine you from $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation.
How can I report illegal dumping?
If you see rubbish that has been dumped illegally, report it by visiting https://ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au or by phoning 131 555.
How can I report littering from vehicles?
If you see someone littering from their vehicle, you can report them to the NSW EPA.
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
Find out more on the NSW EPA website here (https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/litter-and-illegal-dumping/report-littering/report-littering-from-vehicle-faqs)
How can I dispose of my waste responsibly?
There are no excuses for dumping waste illegally. There are a number of ways you can dispose of your unwanted household items responsibly.
- Take your items to one of our Waste Management Centres. Some items you can even drop off for free. You can find you nearest waste management centre here.
- Try selling or giving away unwanted items via an online platform such at Gumtree, eBay or the local Facebook group Buy Swap Sell.
- Host a garage sale.
Working together, we can stamp out illegal dumping and preserve the natural beauty of the MidCoast.
How can I help to reduce litter?
The simplest way to reduce litter is to use a bin, or take your rubbish home with you and dispose of it in your household red or yellow bin.
There are also range of programs that you can get involved in, including: