Littering & Illegal Dumping
Protecting our natural environment is a key priority for Council. Littering and illegal dumping is often seen as a reflection of our social values and a stain on our environment. By working together we have the opportunity to protect our environment and strengthen our community, while limiting the drain on the public purse.
Illegal dumping and littering is an issue in the Charters Towers region, particularly in the more regional parks, reserves and water ways contained within its vast area. The ‘Not in our back yard’ campaign appears to have been moderately successful; however, Council still spends 10’s of thousands of dollars on an issue not of its making.
Dumping creates a number of problems for our local area. Specifically it:
- Contributes to pollution
- Presents an eyesore and negatively affects community pride
- Encourages further dumping, littering and illegal activity
- Creates a fire hazard
- Attracts weeds, pests and feral animals
- Costs Council and the community money
Illegal Dumping is an offence under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 and carries significant fines. Surveillance measures across the region are being ramped up to assist in eliminating this vile past-time.
In this new age of head cams, phone cameras etc, eyes are everywhere, so if you’re thinking of doing it – DON’T.
You can help us save our streets, parks and reserves. If you see someone illegally dumping from a vehicle you can report the incident to the Department of Environment and Science (DES).
Littering tends to build up on roads leading in and out of our townships, near shopping centres, public walkways and in drains. Littering is particularly harmful to native fauna, like birds and mammals.
Littering is an offence under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 and fines will be issued for this course of action. Under this law there are also increased fines for dangerous littering, including cigarette butts and broken glass.
If you see someone illegally dumping it can be reported to the Department of Environment and Science (DES).
What is Littering?
Litter is defined as a deposit of waste at a place that is an amount less than 200L in volume. Common types of litter include cigarette butts, drink bottles, fast food wrappers, material from a trailer that is poorly secured, grass clippings swept into the gutter, nappies etc.
Deposits equalling an amount less than 200L in volume, that causes or is likely to cause harm to a person or the environment. Examples include throwing a lit cigarette onto dry grass in extreme fire danger conditions, smashing a glass bottle and leaving the broken glass on a footpath, leaving a syringe in a public place other than in a container intended to receive used syringes.
What is Illegal Dumping?
Illegal dumping has been defined as the deposit of waste at a place that is an amount equalling or greater than 200L in volume. Illegal dumping includes items such as bags of rubbish, garden waste, building materials, household goods, abandoned cars, used tyres and hazardous waste.
Queensland Litter Laws and Penalties
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 includes a range of offences for litter and illegal dumping, including:
- General littering
- Littering from a vehicle
- Dangerous littering
- Illegal dumping
- Failing to clean up waste
Local governments and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) have a shared responsibility for litter and illegal dumping enforcement. Authorised officers from Council and Department of Environment and Science (DES) can issue fines and direction notices for litter and illegal dumping offences.
Examples of litter and illegal dumping fines are included in the table below:
|Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 section and offence||Penalty Units|
|Section 103(1)(a): general littering if the offence involves dangerous littering||40|
|Section 103(1)(b): general littering||30|
|Section 104(1)(a): illegal dumping of waste provision if the offence involves depositing a volume of less than 2500L of waste||400|
|Section 104(1)(b): illegal dumping of waste provision if the offence involves depositing a volume of more than 2500L of waste||1000|
|Section 251(c): A person must comply with a compliance notice||300|
|Section 265: giving false or misleading information||1665|
*** Infringement Notice offences for the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 are outlined in Schedule 1 of the State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014.
How can I report Illegal Dumping
Report witnessing littering and illegal dumping from vehicles
Queensland's Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 provides everyone with the ability to report littering and illegal dumping associated with a motor vehicle, trailer or vessel.
If you witness a person littering or illegally dumping waste from a vehicle, trailer or vessel, report it to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and complete a report form on their website.
Ensure you take note of the following in order to report the event:
- The vehicle's registration number, make and colour
Your report will be investigated and a penalty infringement notice may be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle if there is sufficient evidence. The new laws deem the registered owner of the vehicle to have committed the offence in the first instance - even though the actual offender may be someone else.
To safeguard the rights of vehicle owners, if the registered owner was not the person responsible, they can complete a statutory declaration within 28 days of receiving the fine and declare the person responsible for the offence or that the vehicle had been sold at the time the incident occurred.
Reporting Litter or Illegal Dump Sites
For reporting actual dumping sites, please contact Council
Phone: 07 4761 5300