Illegal Dumping & Littering

​What is illegal dumping and littering?

Illegal dumping and littering is any rubbish left on public property. It can be:

  • Large items (eg a fridge or couch)
  • Bagged rubbish
  • Green waste, including grass clippings

You should know we do not remove dumped rubbish on private property. The owner of the property is responsible for the disposal of rubbish dumped on their property.

What is the difference between illegal dumping and littering?

Both activities are considered 'littering' and are governed by the Litter Act 1979 however territorial authorities (Councils) have the power to either infringe an offender or file charges against them. This decision would be made in accordance with the type and severity of the 'littering'. The Litter Act outlines several categories - litter, dangerous litter and offensive litter.

  • Litter covers a range of material from refuse, rubbish and animal remains, to rubble, garden waste and grass clippings. 
  • Dangerous litter takes in things likely to cause injury, disease or infection, ranging from glass to sharp metal and medical waste. 
  • Offensive litter includes rotting food, animal remains and discarded nappies.                            

What are the infringements and fines for 'littering'?

The following schedule of offences and fees shall apply within the Grey District:​

​1​First offence of littering or dumping (except where public safety is deemed an issue – see 4 below)​$100
​2​Second offence within a 24-month period of the first offence​​$200​
​3​Third offence within a 24-month period of the second offence and all subsequent offences​$300
​4​Any offence of littering or dumping where the litter deposited is of such a nature as is likely to cause a risk to public health or safety, including all offences involving depositing glass, whether broken or otherwise​$400

What we do about illegally dumped rubbish

We will investigate claims of illegally dumped rubbish and try to identify the offender. Offenders caught illegally dumping rubbish will be ordered to remove the rubbish and may be issued with a fine of up to $400. Serious offenders may also be prosecuted under the Litter Act 1979 with a maximum penalty of $30,000.

Why is illegal dumping a problem?

  • Hazards and risks – dumped waste can be dangerous to people, particularly when it includes hazardous waste like sharp objects and asbestos.
  • Rising costs – to Council and to you! Removing illegally dumped waste costs a lot of money.
  • Environmental damage – dumped materials can harm the local environment by killing birds and fish, damaging plants, soil and waterways.
  • Decreasing property and community value – illegal dumping areas are ugly and we want the community to be proud of our clean city and our visitors to enjoy it too.

How you can help:

  • Encourage your friends and family to do the right thing. Not only does illegal dumping cost the community a lot of money, it also has a major impact on the environment.
  • Report any dumped rubbish to Council as soon as possible so contractors can remove it before people add to it.
  • Take your rubbish home with you. This will help stop public bins from overflowing in popular areas. And if bins are already overflowing, don’t add to the pile; take the rubbish home and dispose of it in your wheelie bins.
  • When reporting rubbish, it is very helpful if you supply photos that have a location tag. This can be done by turning on your location services on your smart device before taking the photo. This enables contractors to go straight to the dumping site rather than spending time searching for the rubbish.
  • If you witness illegal dumping do not approach the offenders but take notes or photos of the person and their vehicle. This can help with identification and prosecution.
  • Do not pick up the rubbish and bring it to Council. Leave everything in place and take detailed notes/pictures and report it to or phone 03 769 8600.




Page reviewed: 08 Jul 2019 5:15pm