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Illegal dumping is the unlawful deposit of waste larger than litter onto land. It includes waste materials that have been dumped, tipped or otherwise deposited onto private or public land where no licence or approval exists to accept such waste.

Illegal dumping is the unlawful deposit of waste larger than litter onto land. It includes waste materials that have been dumped, tipped or otherwise deposited onto private or public land where no licence or approval exists to accept such waste.

Illegal dumping creates the following risks:

  • Pollutes our environment
  • Creates an eyesore
  • Lowers community pride
  • Is a potential fire hazard
  • Attracts other illegal behaviour
  • Is a health and safety hazard
  • Increases the spread of weeds and pests
  • Costs Council and the community money

Financially, illegal dumping shows no care or respect for our community or the environment and can cost ratepayers through the significant costs to local councils – an estimated $10 million a year is spent by NSW local governments removing waste and properly disposing of it.

Illegal dumping FAQs

Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, it is an offence to:

  • transport waste to, or deposit waste, in a place that can not lawfully be used as a waste facility; and
  • cause or permit it to be transported or deposited.

Penalties apply for this offence can be up to $250,000 for individuals and $1 million for corporations. On the spot penalty notices from $2000 to $8000 can be issued for lesser offences.

There is no need to dump unwanted items and materials. Council encourages residents to make use of the many waste and recycling services on offer.

Visit the A - Z of waste page to find out more information of how to correctly dispose of waste.

Council investigates reports of illegal dumping. An officer can attend the site of illegal dumping and attempt to investigate where the waste material came from and who was responsible for dumping the waste. Council currently has a 90% success rate in investigating identifiable waste and offenders.

Council has a successful model to reduce illegal dumping that includes identifying offenders and making them responsible for cleaning up and disposing of the waste lawfully.

Council engages with community organisations to provide a coordinated response towards illegal dumping. These organisations include; NSW Government, EPA, NSW Police, NSW National Parks, Crown Lands, Hunter Water, Worimi Local Aboriginal  Land Council, local businesses, Tidy Town groups, land holders, the general public and more.

Help Council catch illegal dumpers by reporting incidents.

Help Council catch illegal dumpers by reporting incidents. You can report illegal dumping incidents to Council by providing information such as the time of day, registration number of the car, description of the person and any other information that would help identify the offender.

Do you want to report abandoned shopping trolleys? You can report it to the retailer direct or use Trolley Tracker.

Contact Details

Waste Compliance
Phone: 02 4988 0255
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au