Transport Canberra and City Services


Illegal dumping


What is illegal dumping?

When someone puts waste on private or public land without permission of the person who manages the land, they are illegally dumping. Fines apply.

Example of illegal dumping include:

  • placing items beside your household wheelie bin or hopper
  • leaving items beside public bins or hoppers
  • leaving items 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
  • Abandoning a vehicle.

Examples of littering include

  • dropping small items like receipts or lolly wrappers in public
  • dumping larger items like takeaway food bags
  • transporting a load, including waste and failing to arrange, contain, fasten or cover it so that no part of the load can escape from the vehicle
  • depositing of commercial and garden waste in public
  • failing to take reasonable steps to prevent litter from your commercial premises ending up in public spaces
  • placing advertising leaflets in or on a car, building or public asset like streetlights or bus shelters
  • failing to store waste on a building site so that cannot escape the site
  • failing to store lightweight construction materials on a construction site so that it cannot escape the site
  • aggravated offences are in force for littering of cigarettes, matches and syringes because these items can cause harm to a person, animal or property. This attracts a $500 fine. A court can impose a maximum penalty of $16,000 for individuals and $80,000 for businesses, or imprisonment for 1 year, or both.

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

Report illegal dumping online.

Penalties

Penalties

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

  • Basic littering: fines of $150 apply for small items, $300 fines apply for larger items. A court can impose a maximum penalty of $1,600 for individuals or $8,000 for businesses.
  • Dumping of greater than 1 litre but less than 10 litres of litter: fines of $500 apply. A court can impose a maximum penalty of $3,200 for an individual and $16,000 for businesses.
  • Dumping of greater than 10 litres but less than 200 litres of litter: fines of $1000 apply. A court can impose a maximum penalty of $5,600 for an individual and $28,000 for businesses.
  • Dumping of greater than 200 litres: fines of $1500 apply. A court can impose a maximum penalty of $8,000 for an individual and $40,000 for businesses.
  • Dropping cigarette butts or syringes are particularly dangerous and a fine of $500 applies.

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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