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What is illegal dumping?
Illegal dumping is leaving waste larger than litter on private or public land without a licence or approval to do so.
It is a crime to illegally dump, bury, burn or dilute industrial waste (including hazardous waste known as prescribed industrial waste).
These activities threaten our environment and pose a risk to human health and local amenities. They also financially undermine legitimate businesses and Victoria’s waste management and resource recovery system.
EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce program
The Victorian Government has committed $6.3 million over three years (2015–18) to support EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce program. This gives EPA the resources and the mandate to reduce the risks to the environment from illegal waste management and create a more level playing field.
Our priority areas
The program has identified a number of priority illegal waste disposal issues to tackle. In 2016–17, the Strikeforce program is focused on four priority areas:
- construction and demolition generators
- illegal dumping by skip bin operators
- transport of prescribed industrial waste
- stockpiling of waste tyres.
EPA identifies key partners in priority projects – such as government, industry and community stakeholders – to support interventions that encourage appropriate waste management.
In 2015–16, we began a new compliance program with VicRoads to ensure vehicles transporting prescribed industrial waste (PIW) comply with waste transport laws.
We are also partnering with the Victorian Building Authority, WorkSafe, Consumer Affairs Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria to support and educate Victoria’s construction and demolition sector on the appropriate management of industrial waste.
EPA is continually working to better understand the nature and scale of illegal dumping across Victoria and the motivations (economic, social and institutional) for this behaviour. This research helps us develop and implement strategies that deal with the root causes of illegal dumping.
We are developing intelligence-led projects to improve our understanding of illegal dumping behaviour and accurately measure and track illegal dumping across Victoria.
Compliance and enforcement
EPA uses a broad range of compliance and enforcement tools to detect, investigate and prosecute illegal dumping offences.
During 2015 –16 EPA made 233 illegal dumping inspections across Victoria. These inspections looked particularly at waste tyre storage sites, construction and demolition waste, and the interstate movement of prescribed industrial waste.
The inspections resulted in 98 remedial notices being issued across the state, 24 penalty infringement notices (fines) and nine parties being prosecuted.
Communication and engagement
Providing guidance for waste producers, transporters and receivers on how to manage industrial waste safely and responsibly is an important focus for EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce program.
In August 2016, the Victorian Waste Education Strategy was released. Led by Sustainability Victoria, the strategy aims to provide a consistent and coordinated approach to waste and resource recovery education over the next 10 years. Strategic direction 4 of the strategy details EPA activities focused on reducing the illegal dumping of industrial waste.
In 2015–16, EPA created Super PIW Bros, an animation that highlights EPA’s legal requirements for transporting PIW within Victoria and to other Australian states and territories.
A second video, Know where your construction and demolition waste goes, highlights the obligations on building site managers and transporters to ensure waste is taken to an appropriate facility.
How you can help
Illegal dumping is an environmental crime. As well as potentially causing serious pollution, illegal dumping also poses a risk to human health and impacts local amenities. Cleaning up illegal dumping comes at a significant cost for local communities, councils and land managers.
Industry representatives and community members play an important role in helping EPA identify and respond to the illegal dumping of commercial, industrial or large scale waste.
To report suspected illegal dumping, call 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or complete EPA’s confidential illegal dumping intelligence form.
What is EPA’s role?
Large-scale, systemic illegal dumping is a growing problem in Victoria.
EPA receives approximately 12,000 community pollution reports each year. Reports of illegal dumping and illegal waste management practices are triaged and actioned by EPA officers.
Local council and other land mangers such as Parks Victoria and VicRoads assist EPA in the cleanup and enforcement of small and medium-scale dumping issues, such as dumping of furniture and mattresses on kerbsides or reserves.
EPA, as the state’s environmental regulator, is committed to working with industry, government organisations and the community to reduce illegal dumping and ensure a safe and healthy environment for all.
EPA will also work with its co-regulators in Victoria and interstate to learn more about illegal dumping to help drive behavioural change.