Illegal dumping and litter

Illegal dumping is the depositing – dumping, tipping or otherwise – of waste larger than litter onto land or into water without approval to do so.  Illegal dumping varies from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to larger scale dumping of waste materials in isolated areas, such as bushland.

Illegal Dumping includes:

  • Domestic household items such as discarded mattresses, white goods and old furniture left , commonly found out on the kerbside.
  • Green waste including palm fronds, commonly found over the back fence, on vacant blocks or in bushland.
  • Construction and demolition waste.
  • Un-authorised land filling. If you are the landowner you may be accepting fill that may affect the health of your family or devalue your land. Check with Council to find out what approvals are required.
  • Household or commercial waste disposed of in or around public litter bins
  • Hazardous materials such as asbestos.

 

 

1. What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping is the depositing – dumping, tipping or otherwise – of waste larger than litter onto land or into water without approval to do so. Illegal dumping varies from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to larger scale dumping of waste materials in isolated areas, such as bushland.

Council has an Illegal Dumping and Litter Education and Compliance Officer who regularly patrols the local area, investigating illegally dumped material, engaging the community about why it is a problem and issuing lean-up notices and/or fines for illegal dumping.

On the spot fines of $4,000 for individuals or $8,000 for corporations apply.

Why is it a problem?

  • Dumped rubbish harms the environment: It pollutes our waterways through the storm water system and attracts vermin such as rats, mice and cockroaches.
  • It attracts additional dumping and other illegal behaviours: These areas become unattractive to the local community and visitors to the Shire.
  • It can be a health and safety hazard: Dumped waste can be dangerous to people, particularly when it includes sharp objects, asbestos and glass.
  • It’s costly to the Council and the community: Over $100 000 of ratepayer money is spent each     year on cleaning up illegally dumped rubbish.

2. Report illegal Dumping

If you see household items, such as furniture, appliances, green waste or building and construction waste dumped by the side of the road or in the bush you should either:

3. What can you do with unwanted houshold items?

If you have unwanted items at home there are a number of options for disposing of them correctly.

1. Transport them to the Byron Resource Recovery Centre and utilise Council's FREE bulk waste drop-off system. 

2. Try selling or giving away unwanted items to via an online platform such as Gumtree, eBay or the local Facebook group Byron Bay Buy Swap Sell.

3. Hold a garage sale or ask a charity if they will accept your items. 

Please consider alternatives to landfill. Reducing the items entering the waste stream reduces the impact on the environment.

 

Fines of $4000 can be issued on the spot, with maximum penalties up to $250,000 for individuals and $1 million for corporations. Rangers have stepped up surveillance of dumping hotspots, using clever new technology to catch those breaking the law.

There are three ways to report illegal dumping in Byron Shire including:

 1. Phone Council's Resource Recovery Hotline on Tel: 1300 652 625.

2. Report illegal dumping to to us via Report It.

3. Report illegal dumping to RIDonline.

There are no excuses for dumping waste illegally.  There are a number of ways you can dispose of your unwanted household items responsibly:

1. Use your Annual Free Drop Off Service which is provided to all rate payers. 

2. Take your items to the Byron Resource Recovery Centre where many items are accepted for free including e-waste, mobile phones, bulk recyclables, oils, paints, light globes, batteries and scrap metal items including white goods. Find out more on the Byron Resource Recovery Centre page. 

3.  Try selling or giving away unwanted items via an online platform such at Gumtree, eBay or the local Facebook group Byron Bay Buy Swap Sell.

4. Host a garage sale. 

Byron Shire Council has partnered with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to conduct an Illegal Dumping Prevention Program.

Our objective is to create anti-illegal dumping behaviour for the future through an integrated approach of evidence gathering, education and awareness, prevention, enforcement, infrastructure and evaluation based on the EPA pillars for reducing illegal dumping.

This project is a NSW EPA Waste Less Recycle More Initiative funded from the Waste Levy.