Transport Canberra and City Services

Illegal dumping

What is illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping and littering is dropping rubbish in a public place. Fines apply.

Examples of illegal dumping include:

  • placing items beside your household wheelie bin or hopper
  • leaving items beside public bins or hoppers
  • dropping litter on the kerb, in your driveway or on/beside a public road
  • dumping large items on pathways, in parks, waterways, or on your street
  • dumping items on the ground at recycling drop off centres or resource management centres.

Remember, if you have a large item to dispose of, try a bulky waste collection.

Report illegal dumping online.


The penalty for littering or illegal dumping varies depending on the offence:

  • Basic littering: $1,000 for individuals and/or $5,000 for businesses.
  • Aggravated littering that could cause injury to person, animal or public place: $5,000 for individuals and/or $25,000 for businesses, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.
  • Dumping of illegal substances under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004: up to $200,000 for individuals and/or $1 million dollars for businesses and/or 7 years imprisonment and the possibility of other penalties.

Be waste wise

Find out what to do with your rubbish, including large items, e-waste, commercial waste and household waste in the Recyclopaedia.

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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