About illegal waste disposal

Illegal waste disposal includes dumping, tipping or burying waste on private or public land that’s not licensed to accept it. 

Illegal waste disposal presents a risk to human health and the environment. 

Find out more about illegal waste disposal and how to report it

About our Illegal Waste Disposal Program

EPA's Illegal Waste Disposal Program aims to disrupt systematic illegal waste disposal. It focuses on illegal large-scale industrial and hazardous waste disposal. Local councils and EPA's Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment (OPLE) program manage municipal and small-scale illegal waste disposal.

Large scale illegal waste disposal often involves criminal networks. Potential large financial gain drives their actions and they use sophisticated methods in an attempt to avoid detection.

The program supports the regulatory framework by:

  • disrupting illegal business models
  • developing innovative regulatory interventions
  • ensuring those who dispose of waste illegally are identified and face the full legal consequences of their actions.

We use our industry and community knowledge, data collection and intelligence to:

  • deter illegal waste disposal
  • reduce community acceptance of illegal waste disposal. 

How the Illegal Waste Disposal Program ensures compliance and enforcement

We use a range of regulatory tools to find, investigate and prosecute illegal waste disposal offences. These include:

  • data analytics
  • intelligence, including interagency networks
  • surveillance, including our drone program and ground penetrating radar
  • inspections
  • co-regulatory partnerships between government agencies, law enforcement, local councils, co-regulators and key stakeholders. 
  • formal investigations
  • prosecutions under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

How we guide industry

EPA guides the construction and demolition industries on how to manage waste in the right way. Guidance focuses on helping waste producers, transporters and receivers. 

To guide and support industry, we partner with: 

Businesses that generate, accept, manage or transport industrial waste must: 

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EPA's past programs and projects

Reviewed 17 September 2021