What is littering and illegal dumping?

Littering: Litter has been defined as the deposit of waste at a place that is an amount less than 200L in volume.

What can it look like?

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, fishing tackle.

Dangerous Littering: Deposited equalling an amount less than 200L in volume, that causes or is likely to cause harm to a person or the environment.

What can it look like?

Such example include; throwing a lit cigarette onto dry grass in extreme fire danger conditions, smashing a glass bottle and leave the broken glass on a footpath, leaving a syringe in a public place other than in a container intended to receive used syringes.

Illegal Dumping: Illegal dumping has been defined as the deposit of waste at a place that is an amount equalling greater than 200L in volume.

What can it look like?

Dumping is unsightly, degrades the local environment, reduces property value and costs rate payers a substantial amount of money each year to clean up. Illegal dumping includes items such as bags of rubbish, garden waste, building materials, household goods, abandoned cars, used tyres and hazardous waste.

Queensland littering 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 Heritage Protection (DEHP) have a shared responsibility for litter and illegal dumping enforcement.

Authorised officers from council and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) can issue fines and direction notices for litter and illegal dumping offence.

Litter can be any domestic or commercial waste and almost any material that is disposed of incorrectly. It also has significant environmental, social and economic impacts.