Transport Canberra and City Services

Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping is a concern for all in our community because it:

  • pollutes our lakes, rivers and waterways through the stormwater system;
  • is a waste of resources because most dumped items can be recycled or reused;
  • is dangerous e.g. discarded needles, syringes, asbestos;
  • attracts vermin such as rats and cockroaches;
  • looks unsightly to locals and visitors to Canberra;
  • may contain hazardous waste; and
  • is a financial burden to you as a rate payer.


It is an offence under the Litter Act 2004 to dump rubbish in a public place. If the rubbish contains hazardous waste, it is also an offence under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004. Once one person dumps, it seems to indicate to others that it is okay for them to dump too - but it's not!

The following penalties apply:

  • Basic littering penalties include $1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses.
  • Aggravated littering by means of littering that could cause injury to a person, animal or public place carries higher penalties, being $5,000 for individuals, $25,000 for businesses or imprisonment for six months (or both).
  • Dumping of illegal substances under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 carries penalties up to $200,000 for individuals and $1 million for businesses and/or seven years imprisonment and the possibility of other penalties.

Report illegal dumping

To report illegal dumping call Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or fill out the Access Canberra Feedback Form.

Be waste wise

Household waste, including larger and more complex items, can be dropped off at the Resource Management Centres at Mitchell and Mugga Lane for a fee. Unwanted but still useable household items can be taken to The Green Shed at the Mitchell and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres for free (subject to the contractor's discretion).

Computers and televisions can be taken to e-waste drop off points at the Mitchell and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres.

Commercial scrap metal merchants can be found in the Yellow Pages.

Recycling drop off centres at Mitchell, Parkwood and Mugga Lane are open between 7.30 am and 5 pm for disposal of paper, cardboard, bottles, aluminium and steel cans. These items can also be conveniently dropped off at the 24 hour drop off centres at Phillip, Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and Belconnen. To find out more about recycling and waste centres in the ACT call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.

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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