What Is Illegal Dumping and How to Report It

Help Keep Your Community Clean

Illegal dumping is a form of pollution that can be found in almost any local community. It happens when people don’t properly dispose of unwanted items and instead leave them in public or private areas where they don’t belong. This type of littering is not only aesthetically unpleasing. But, can also lead to serious health and safety hazards.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what exactly illegal dumping is and also what you can do if you notice it occurring in your area.

What Is Illegal Dumping

What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal Dumping is an issue that has been gaining a lot of public attention recently. It involves the disposal of large amounts (greater than 200 litres) of waste in undesignated areas, without permission. This is different to littering, as it involves items larger than 200 litres in volume.

The Brisbane City Council explicitly classes bags of rubbish left on public land and private land outside scheduled waste collection days as ‘illegal dumping’.

Most frequently illegally dumped items are as follows:

  • General household waste
  • Green Garden waste
  • Whitegoods, and Electrical items like TV’s
  • Old furniture, sofas and mattrresses
  • Construction waste materials
  • Asbestos, used tyres, paint and chemicals

Effects of Illegal Dumping

Dumping rubbish without permission can have harmful effects. Some examples include:

1. Contamination of and damage to land, water, and air quality

Illegal disposal of waste can have a detrimental effect on our environment. It can lead to contamination of land, water and air quality. Toxic substances entering local bodies of water can poison wildlife. It can also cause fish stocks to decrease. Thus, it can be devastating for communities that rely on this resource for food.

2. Potential health impacts on humans and wildlife

Dangerous chemicals like lead and asbestos have been found in lakes and rivers across the globe. These contaminants can seep into our water supply causing serious health conditions. In addition, prolong exposure to these toxins can damage organs and disrupt development. It also poses threat to entire populations of birds, fish and other animals with fatal contamination.

3. Financial burden on local governments

Local councils are facing a huge financial burden cleaning up contaminated sites. Unfortunately, illegal dumping of hazardous waste is the biggest contributor to this costly problem. Thus, they will need to use chemical solutions. Also, hire trained professionals to clean up the sites. Because of this, the city is feeling the pinch as they shoulder this responsibility.

What Can You Do To Stop Illegal Dumping?

There are several ways people can help combat the problem. These includes:

  • Reporting cases when you witness someone dumping waste illegally.
  • Supporting local enforcement strategies.
  • Volunteering with local clean-up organizations.

How To Report Illegal Dumping?

The Brisbane City Council has several ways to report incidents:

1. Online reporting form

The council has an online reporting form allowing residents to report illegal activities. They can access this through the council’s website. It will require you to provide details of the incident such as location, time and date, and type of waste.

2. Phone

Residents can also call the council’s customer service center. You can reach them using this number 07 3403 8888. A representative will take the details of the incident. Then, they’ll forward it to the relevant department for investigation.

3. Email

Another option is to email the council at illegaldumping@des.qld.gov.au with the details of the incident.

4. Mobile App

Brisbane City Council also has a mobile app called “Brisbane Clean & Green”. Residents can report illegal dumping, and other environmental issues like graffiti, abandoned shopping carts and more.

Fines and Penalties for Illegal Dumping

If you illegally dump items can can be fined and prosecuted. In the Brisbane City Council, the fines can vary depending on the type and severity of the offense. It can range from $575 for individuals, to over $700,000 for corporations dumping over 2500 Litres of waste.

Please note that fines are not the only penalties that you can get for illegal dumping. The council may also require the offender to dispose of the illegal waste properly. They even pursue prosecution as maximum penalties in some cases.


How to Report Illegal Dumping


How can I identify an offender or location of illegal dumping?

If you witness one, it’s important to take note of any identifying details that can help law authorised officers track down the offender. This can include plate numbers, descriptions of vehicles or people involved, and even photos or videos of the incident. You should also take note of the exact location of the offense so that authorities can investigate further.

What Takes Place After I Send a Report?

Environmental protection agencies will investigate the incident. Depending on the severity of the situation, they may take legal action against the offender. In some cases, the offender may even face jail time for their actions.


Disposing of large items and building materials can be expensive. Some people take the easy but illegal way out by leaving them on the side of the road. If you see someone doing this, don’t hesitate to report it. With your help, we can keep our community clean and safe for everyone.