Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Reporting information for public land managers

This reporting information is for officers working for a public authority (e.g. local council or state government agency) who are responsible for managing public land but are not the Appropriate Regulatory Authority under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) to investigate the incident.

Before contacting the relevant authority

  • Talk to neighbours to see if they noticed anyone or anything suspicious.
  • Take photographs of the waste as you found it.
  • Record as many details as possible. You could use the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Illegal dumping reporting form (PDF 79KB) or make your own notes.
    • The form or any notes you make about an incident may be used in court and relied upon as evidence in a prosecution.
    • All entries must be legible and in ink or completed electronically.
    • Notes must not be erased. If any alternation is necessary, the proper procedure is to rule a line through the original notes and initial the change.
    • Notes may be abbreviated, but in all cases, proper names and addresses must be written out in full. Avoid shorthand.
    • Include the time and date the form or notes were completed.

Information required for issuing a penalty notice

An enforcement officer will need the following information to issue a penalty notice:

  • the particular offence committed
  • the date and time the offence was committed
  • where the offence took place
  • the name and address of the person who committed the offence
  • if the waste was dumped from a vehicle, the registration number, model and colour of the vehicle, and the owner of the vehicle.

Investigation and enforcement

After recording the necessary information to report the incident, decide who the appropriate regulatory authority is, i.e. who should investigate and take enforcement action. The POEO Act provides detailed information on who the appropriate regulatory authority is for different types of illegal dumping.

In some cases there may not be enough evidence to identify the dumper. In these cases cleaning up and taking preventative action can be effective in stopping illegal dumping over the longer term.

AELERT training and resources for investigators

AELERT is the Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators neTwork – a network of environmental regulatory agencies. AELERT provides training and resources to support the investigation of illegal dumping incidents. For information contact AELERT.

Encourage the community to report illegal dumping

Educating your community about the impacts of illegal dumping and how to report it increases community understanding that dumping is unacceptable. It helps to identify incidents and offenders through passive surveillance.  

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015