Sydney Illegal Dumping Fines Guide

Illegal dumping is a persistent problem that occurs in almost every city in the country. When it happens, it costs time and money and can even damage the environment. 

Even though there are places and private companies that handle rubbish, some people still choose to dump their unwanted items deliberately.

The amount of rubbish found on the roadside, even on vacant properties, begs the question: are imposing fines on illegal dumpers really effective? 

Keep yourself informed by knowing what the illegal dumping fines in Sydney are. But before we proceed, let’s learn more about the negative repercussions of illegal dumping. 

What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping is the disposal or placement of solid waste on any property, public or private, without the appropriate authorisation or justification. 

Littering and unauthorised dumping have a seriously detrimental impact on both our economy and the environment. 

This ill-behaviour costs local and state governments millions of dollars yearly to clean up illegal dumping. In addition, illegal dumping discourages economic growth, investment, the establishment of new firms, and the influx of new residents. 

What Are the Harmful Effects of Illegal Dumping in Sydney

Two of the key drivers of waste generation are urbanisation and the rising population. Besides the massive amount of waste generated, people also illegally dump their unwanted items. This problem affects not just our immediate environment but the entire world.

If we fail to dispose of our rubbish properly, we and the ecosystem will suffer. Climate change and global warming are evident manifestations of it. 

Here are the detrimental effects of improper waste disposal:

  • Pollutes our land, soil, water and air
  • Contaminates our soil and groundwater
  • Kills wildlife and even domesticated animals by ingesting poisonous waste materials
  • More likely to cause wildfires because of flammable waste materials
  • Decreases the value of a property
  • Affects tourism because of the unattractive location
  • ..and more

Common Illegally Dumped Items

Businesses and households dump unwanted items to avoid the high costs personally transporting unwanted goods and more. 

The following are the most common waste materials left by the roadway and on public and private property:

  • Fridge
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Old mattresses
  • Bed frame
  • Couch
  • Tables and chairs
  • Air conditioner

Additionally, you can find construction waste materials, garden or green waste, auto parts, and scrap metal.

Illegal Dumping Fines in Sydney

Illegally dumping your unwanted goods can incur a costly fine and a lot of effort to clean up. The penalties can be severe, including imprisonment. 

A three-tiered system is established to combat illegal dumping, per the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, or POEO Act. Under such a tier, there are two different categories of sanctions: individual and corporate.

Tier 3 – Penalty Notices

Individuals – a $750 on-the-spot fine, with a maximum of $1500 (on-the-spot fine).

Corporations – a $1500 on-the-spot fine, with a maximum of $5000 (on-the-spot fine).

Tier 2 – Unlawful use of land as a waste facility by the owner or occupier, unlawful transporting of waste


  • a maximum fine of $250,000 and a daily fine of $60,000 for each day the offence is committed (in the case of a continuing offence).


  • a maximum fine of $1,000,000 and a daily fine of $120,000 for each day the offence goes unpunished.

Tier 1 – Willful or Negligent disposal of hazardous waste to the environment.


  • The maximum penalty for willful disposal is $1,000,000 and/or seven years in prison.
  • Negligent disposal carries a $500,000 fine and/or a four-year prison sentence.


  • a maximum fine of $5,000,000 if the disposal was done on purpose.
  • The penalty would be $2,000,000 for negligent disposal.

To learn more, visit the EPA-NSW website about illegal dumping in Sydney.

How Do I File a Report of Illegal Dumping?

Laws are crucial in preventing illegal dumping, especially of waste and hazardous items. You have the right to report any illegal dumpers if you witness them or have reason to believe they are breaking the law.

You can report illegal dumpers by following these steps:

  • Contact the local officials in charge of enforcing environmental laws 
  • Report the incident to local authorities or Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000. 
  • RIDonline also allows you to submit a report if you see anyone illegally dumping.

Emergency Incidents

If you notice big volumes of rubbish being discarded, such as chemical spills or poisonous odours, call 000 immediately!

Urgent Response 

If you spot any of the following illegal dumping activity and the deposited waste poses an imminent threat to the environment, contact EPA Environment Line on 131 555 immediately!

  • If the waste materials are over two trailer loads
  • Litter being thrown or blown from a vehicle or trailer, you can report it here
  • Illegal dumping situation deemed urgent

Small Scale Illegal Dumping

Local councils are more likely to deal with minor incidents of illegal dumping, such the following:

  • Common household junk and rubbish
  • Industrial waste
  • Waste or debris from construction sites

A large Amount of Illegal Dumping

Large amounts of rubbish or waste will be handled by the Office of Environment and Heritage in the following situations:

  • Large and/or tons of waste 
  • Organised crime-related waste
  • Hazardous materials or waste that endangers the people or the environment

If you find yourself in any situation and you want to help, always keep in mind to prioritise your safety. Despite being discouraged, we know some people are willing to do what they can to help clean up our environment.

Just keep in mind to take extra precautions by using personal safety gear. Hazardous wastes like asbestos or lead paint are likely present in these wastes.

Get in touch with a reliable junk removal company for convenience and safety. Aussie Junk is a team of exceptionally skilled rubbish removalists who go above and beyond. 

Aussie Junk

Aussie Junk

Aussie Junk is a proud local Sydney rubbish removal company. We help educate Aussies on the importance of environmental topics such as recycling, hygiene, personal and social well-being and sustainability. Free up more valuable space in your life by calling our local team to help clear and clean out your junk today.

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