Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Your responsibilities under the illegal dumping laws


  • Leaving furniture or other household items on the roadside, nature strip or footpath is illegal dumping. You are responsible for ensuring your waste goes to a lawful waste facility. You can be fined or prosecuted for dumping waste or for failing to ensure a contractor or other person disposing of your waste takes it to a lawful facility. 
  • Make sure your waste is going to the right place by retaining tip dockets or by asking for them from any person acting on your behalf.
  • It is illegal to dump waste outside charity bins or shops, or dump unsaleable items on charities. You can be fined or prosecuted for doing so. Try to recycle as much of your waste as possible, or contact your local charity if you think the items can be donated. To avoid a fine, give your items to an attendant and they will tell you if they are acceptable donations.
  • If your waste doesn’t fit in your bin, contact your local council to find out what waste disposal options are available. For example many councils run collection services for unwanted mattresses, fridges, furniture and other large items.
  • If your council does not provide a bin service or other disposal services, ask for the location of your nearest waste facility.
  • See Managing waste at home for more information on how to safely and lawfully dispose of different types of waste.

Private land owners

  • People and businesses that generate waste all have a legal responsibility to ensure that waste is transported to or disposed of at facilities that can lawfully receive that type of waste.
  • Always request and retain tip dockets to show your waste has gone to the right place.
  • The landowner or occupier, or land manager, must lawfully manage waste that has been illegally dumped on their land. This includes ensuring the waste is not a risk to the environment or human health while it is on your land, and ensuring the illegally dumped waste is transported to or disposed of at facilities that can lawfully receive that type of waste.
  • Land owners can be fined, prosecuted and issued with a notice requiring clean-up of the waste if they don’t comply with the illegal dumping laws.
  • Beware of accepting fill on your land - you could be committing an illegal dumping offence. Make sure you know your responsibilities and be certain that any fill you accept is safe and lawful.

Public land managers

See Information for public land managers.

Waste transporters

  • Waste transporters and the waste industry must ensure that waste is transported to or disposed of at a facility lawfully able to receive that type of waste. Waste transporters can be fined or prosecuted for disposing of waste at a facility not licensed to accept that waste type, or at a location that is not a licensed waste facility.
  • Vehicles used by repeat illegal dumping offenders can be forfeited.

Waste facilities

  • It is illegal to accept waste on your land if you are not a lawful waste facility. See Guide to licensing for information about becoming a lawful waste facility.

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015