Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Removing dumped waste

This information is for managers of public land, private landowners or occupiers of private land. Members of the community should not attempt to clean up illegally dumped waste.

Dumped waste must be removed and taken to a waste facility that can lawfully receive that type of waste.

Waste cannot be applied to land in NSW unless the appropriate procedures are followed and consents have been given. For example, you may require an environment protection licence or a resource recovery exemption  from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Asbestos waste

Asbestos waste must be handled safely and disposed of at a landfill that can accept it. It cannot be reprocessed or recycled. Some landfills accept household asbestos, but be sure to phone first to confirm this.

Recycling and reusing wastes

Many waste materials that are illegally dumped are a valuable resource that can be recycled and in some cases reused, such as scrap metal, bricks, concrete, fridges, computers, car bodies and old tyres.

Imported material and illegally dumped materials may be suitable to create earth mounds for landscaping purposes, e.g. to prevent access, but they must be fit for purpose and pose minimal risk of harm to the environment and human health. Check your responsibilities, and be aware of the risks involved before accepting fill on your land. Check resource recovery exemptions and whether planning consent is needed from the local council. Also ensure you have the landowner’s consent.

Dumped cars

Before removing a dumped car, find out whether there is an owner or report it as abandoned. Contact your local police or call Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.

Scrap metal

Scrap metal, such as tin roofing and old car bodies, can be taken to metal recycling yards to be recycled. Some metal recycling companies will pay money for scrap metal or will remove it from your land at no cost. To find out more about how you can recycle or reuse wastes:

  • contact the Recycling Near You Hotline on 1300 733 712 or visit
  • contact the Business Recycling Hotline on 1300 763 768 or visit
  • Ask other land managers or landowners in your local area if they can recommend a reputable waste contractor.
  • Check the local papers or the Yellow Pages for the services needed, and ask the waste contractor where they will take the waste.
  • If a quote for managing waste is low, find out why. The company may be avoiding costs by transporting the waste to a place that cannot lawfully be used as a waste facility.
  • Ensure the waste contractor will provide copies of disposal dockets so you can check the waste is taken to a waste facility that can lawfully receive it.
  • Ensure the waste contractor will take their own waste away with them too. The best way to do this is to make it a written condition in the quote.

Selecting a waste contractor

Skip bins

If a skip bin is needed to help remove the waste arrange to have it delivered to your site on or close to the day of the clean-up. An empty skip bin could be used by others and you could end up having to pay for their waste.


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Page last updated: 14 January 2015