Collecting illegal dumping data
When illegal dumping occurs, it is important to record and keep detailed information about the incident. Gathering detailed information can help you understand the factors that influence illegal dumping on your land.
Information sources could include:
- internal databases (records of customer complaints, illegal dumping incidents, trespassing incidents)
- local community, NSW Police and neighbours (reports of illegal dumping and trespassing, vehicles on site)
- local council (nearby illegal dumping hotspots, patterns of dumping in the local area).
- keep an Excel log of all illegal dumping incidents in the area you are responsible for and use this to map dumping hotspots, locations and materials over time using Google Maps, a Geographic Information System or Land Information System
- survey your local community to ask them why the community is dumping at specific locations
- analyse surveillance footage and photographs
- Visit dumping sites and gather information regarding the materials being dumped and the method of dumping to help identify the prevention method most suited to dealing with the problem.
- What waste is being dumped?
- When is it being dumped?
- Where is the waste coming from?
- Who do you think may be responsible for the dumping?
- What do you know about the likely offenders?
- How was the waste dumped?
- Where on your land is it being dumped? Are there any places where it consistently reoccurs (i.e. hotspots)?
- Is there anything about the dump sites that might make illegal dumping there easy?
- Are there any timing or seasonal patterns?
Setting up a data collection system
Collecting and analysing data about illegal dumping incidents will help identify dumpers and assist with prosecutions, and can help with designing, implementing and monitoring your illegal dumping prevention program.
The NSW EPA has developed an online database to centralise and support data collection and analysis by public land managers in NSW.
For advice about the type of illegal dumping data that you will need to collect refer to the Illegal Dumping and Illegal Land Filling Data Collection Parameters (PDF 38KB).
Presenting your data in a meaningful way, e.g. using charts, graphs, maps and diagrams, can clarify the problem and help to communicate the issues to other stakeholders. For example, trends over time and the impact of intervention efforts can be plotted on a line graph. The composition of illegally dumped waste can be presented in a pie chart. Charts containing information on common hotspots or land tenure can also help reveal the nature and extent of the problem in your area. Illegal dumping incident locations can be overlaid on maps or aerial photographs to highlight hotspots and therefore identify areas where efforts should be concentrated.
More information: case study
Gathering and interpreting illegal dumping data – RailCorp
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Page last updated: 06 November 2015