Home and Property
October 2, 2023
Crime Prevention
What to do about Illegal dumping

What to do about Illegal dumping

If you see dumped rubbish, report it to the Environmental Protection Authority or your local council straight away.

What is illegal dumping?

In Victoria, it’s illegal to dump or bury litter or waste on public or private land or into water without the appropriate authorisation. You can only dispose of it in locations that are licensed to accept it.

Illegally dumped waste can be anything from a single bag of household rubbish to bigger items such as TVs, fridges and mattresses, to building and demolition materials, oils and paints, and old tyres.  

It also includes donations that are left in front of op shops when their closed. 

What is the impact of illegal dumping?

Not only is illegal dumping unsightly, it also can

  • Damage our land, waterways and environment
  • Pose a risk to our health
  • Negatively affect the liveability of an area
  • Create a fire hazard
  • Be expensive to clean up and manage
  • Attract more dumped rubbish.

Most construction waste is managed responsibly. However, illegal dumping of building and demolition materials costs Victoria more than $30 million a year in clean-up costs (EPA, 2017). 

Some property developers will fine the homeowner for rubbish their builder leaves behind.

What can builders do?

Builders can:

  • Discourage dumping by keeping a clean site with waste sorted and contained. Casual dumpers often see loose waste as an invitation to discard their waste as well.
  • Install signage and surveillance to discourage dumpers.
  • Before starting construction, plan how they will correctly and legally remove, recycle or dispose of all building rubbish. 

What can homeowners do?

  • If you are not building on your land immediately, consider putting up fencing to deter people from accessing your property.
  • Ask your builder to install a temporary security camera throughout construction. See if they will leave it in place between handover and your move-in date to help deter building materials from being dumped or whitegoods stolen from inside.
  • When sourcing a builder, ask what policies and procedures they have in place about removing and disposing of building rubbish.
  • Check whether your Council has collections for hard rubbish, mattresses or garden waste collections or free collections for recyclable items like e-waste, car batteries and metal. 

Reporting dumped rubbish

Report any dumped rubbish immediately to your property developer, to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and/or your local council. Don’t hesitate to report multiple times to multiple agencies. The quicker that rubbish is removed the better.

Finding dumped rubbish

If you find a dumped rubbish report it to the EPA online or by calling 1300 372 842. You can remain anonymous.

You can also report it to your local council. Many councils have a dedicated form on their website to report waste dumping.

If the dumped rubbish has damaged personal property call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online.

What if you catch someone dumping rubbish?

If you see someone in the process of dumping rubbish, call Triple Zero (000) straight away while they’re doing it. If it’s happening now, Victoria Police want to know and act. If it is happening regularly and you report it, they may be able to conduct more patrols of your area.

What to report

When reporting dumped rubbish, provide the following information if possible:

  • Location of dumped rubbish
  • Date and time it occurred (if known)
  • Description of person dumping the rubbish (if seen)
  • Vehicle details such as make, model, colour, registration number and any identifying features.

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded throughout our organisation – in the work we do, the services we deliver and among our staff, volunteers, and the communities we work with.