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Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Reducing Illegal Dumping on NSW Charitable Recyclers Program

The problem with illegal dumping

It is estimated that 40% of donations to charities in NSW are unusable, with illegally dumped waste burdening charities with millions of dollars in disposal costs per year.

Many charitable organisations operate drop-off 'bins' and shopfronts to collect clothing and other items for sale or distribution, and have reported to the EPA that household waste and clothing is frequently dumped around these facilities.

In this short video Mission Australia explain the impact of illegal dumping on their organsition.

The charitable organisations that operate these facilities are then left with the burden of cleaning up and disposing of the dumped waste, which, due to exposure to weather or because of its poor quality, is not suitable for reuse or sale.

What is the EPA doing?

Local council is the appropriate regulatory authority for this type of dumping. There are opportunities for the EPA to work closely with local councils and charitable organisations to tackle the issue, including education and raising awareness, and taking regulatory action.

In December 2013, the EPA launched its Pilot Program to Reduce Illegal Dumping on Charitable Recyclers. Under the pilot program, the EPA allocated $96,000 to eight projects, which trialled a number of prevention and deterrent methods, including cameras and signage together with education and awareness-raising campaigns. Four of these projects received additional funding to continue activities during the busy Christmas period and this was supported by a media campaign.

One of the most successful projects was a collaboration between Mission Australia and Wollongong Council. By introducing new signage, lighting and surveillance cameras and by working closely together this project saw a significant reduction in the amount of illegal dumping at Mission Australia's warehouse facility.

This short video shows how Mission Australia and Wollongong Council used EPA funding to make a positive impact on illegal dumping.

Sticker signage available to stop illegal dumping

One of the findings of the pilot program revealed there is a need for consistent, easy to understand, messaging that can be delivered across the state. In response, the EPA has developed collateral in the form of sticker signage for charities to install outside shopfronts and on recycling donation bins to discourage donators from leaving goods on the footpath or outside the bin. The EPA have developed seven separate stickers displaying different illegal dumping prevention messages. The sticker signage is available to registered charities.

RIDCR bin sticker
1. If it's in the bin, it's good to go
RIDCR bin sticker
5. Too big to fit?
RIDCR bin sticker
2. Fits in the bin? Great stuff
RIDCR bin sticker
6. If we are closed, please come back
RIDCR bin sticker
3. It's illegal to leave stuff on the street
RIDCR bin sticker
7. It's full? Please come back later
RIDCR bin sticker
4. It costs us to clear the stuff left outside

Visit NSW Charitable Recyclers: sticker signage to stop illegal dumping for information on how to place an order for your charity.

RIDCR program aims and funding

The Reducing Illegal Dumping on NSW Charitable Recyclers (RIDCR) program is funded under the NSW EPA's Waste Less Recycle More initiative and addresses action 21 of the NSW Illegal Dumping Strategy 2014-2016: fund an annual program for local communities, charitable organisations and volunteer groups to help them prevent illegal dumping.

The RIDCR programs aims to prevent illegal dumping around donation bins and shopfronts by providing illegal dumping prevention infrastructure to successful RIDCR applications.

The RIDCR program funds numerous illegal dumping prevention infrastructure such as:

  • surveillance cameras
  • lighting
  • gates and fencing
  • education programs.

Visit the Reducing Illegal Dumping on NSW Charitable Recyclers program for further information.

More information

Waste and Resource Recovery Branch
Illegal Dumping Coordination Unit
Phone: 1300 361 967

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Page last updated: 18 August 2016