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Littering and Illegal Dumping

Littering and dumping not only makes our city and natural areas look dirty and uncared for, it can also have significant adverse health, safety, financial and environmental impacts.

Complaints

  • To lodge a complaint regarding littering or illegal dumping infringements visit Council's Complaints webpage and follow Council's complaints process.
  • To report littering and illegal dumping and dumping associated with motor vehicles, trailers or other vessels call
    13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit the Department of Environment and Science.

Definitions

Littering is defined as the unlawful disposal of any type of domestic or commercial waste material in an amount of less than 200 litres in volume (approximate volume of a standard wheelie bin) and can include:

  • Cigarette butts, drink bottles and fast food packaging thrown out of a vehicle or other vessel
  • Material falling off a trailer because it was uncovered or poorly secured
  • Food scraps thrown into a garden in a park
  • Household goods left on the footpath in the hope that someone else will pick it up.

Dumping is defined as the unlawful deposit of any type of domestic, commercial or industrial waste in an amount of 200 litres or more in volume (approximate volume of a standard wheelie bin) and can include:

  • Household rubbish and garden waste thrown over the back fence into the local park or bushland
  • Household goods (e.g. whitegoods, TVs, mattresses, furniture) left on the footpath with a 'free' sign or left outside a charity bin or shop
  • Disposing of building waste (construction and demolition materials) in other businesses industrial bins
  • Dropping off tyres, chemical drums and paint tins at roadside rest stops
  • Driving into bushland, national parks and Council reserves and dumping any type of waste.

For further information on littering and dumping in Queensland please see the factsheet below.

Environmental and social impact

Illegal dumping has serious environmental and social impacts. Not only is dumping unsightly, it degrades the surrounding environment, reduces property value and costs ratepayers a substantial amount of money each year in clean up costs. Some forms of illegal dumping, such as disposing of chemicals or asbestos, can directly cause harm or injury to humans and wildlife and/or lead to pollution of the environment.

Responsibilities of residents and visitors

  • Always make sure you dispose of your rubbish responsibly.
  • The majority of general household waste can be disposed of in Council’s supplied green or red-lidded waste bins and recyclable items can be placed in the yellow-lidded bins.
  • Excess amounts of household waste, including green waste, recyclables, tyres, vehicles, furniture and white goods should be taken to the nearest landfill facility or transfer station (for locations and opening times visit Council's Refuse and Recycle Centres webpage).
  • Construction and demolition materials should be taken to the appropriate disposal facilities.
  • Large scale waste from commercial operators and skip hire companies should be taken to the appropriate disposal facilities.
  • Instead of throwing out unwanted items try to recycle them so they can be turned into something new or used by someone else.
  • You can also educate your friends and family about illegal dumping and the negative impact it has on our environment.

Penalties

Heavy penalties apply for littering or dumping of waste. These penalties are set by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. For more information on the fines imposed for littering and dumping visit the Department of Environment and Science Penalty Infringement Notices webpage.

Actions taken by Council

Littering and dumping is illegal and a fine may be incurred. Offenders may also be required to restore the area to its previous natural condition. Every reasonable attempt will be made by Council to locate the owner of the illegally dumped materials and if Council can identify the person responsible for littering or dumping, Council may take one or more of the following actions:

  • Issue a warning
  • Issue a compliance/clean-up notice giving the offender information on how to remedy the offence
  • Issue the offender with an on-the-spot fine.

State Government enforcement

State Government investigates all complaints regarding littering and illegal dumping associated with a motor vehicle, trailer or vessels. If you see someone littering or illegal dumping from a vehicle, vessel or trailer, or if you find piles of dumped waste, you can report it by visiting the Report It webpage. All related queries should be referred to them.

More information

Littering and Illegal Dumping Factsheet (PDF, 577.2 KB)
Department of Environment and Science website