About our program 

Launched in 2021, EPA's illegal waste disposal program is focused on disrupting illegal, large-scale industrial and hazardous waste disposal practices. 

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.


 About illegal waste disposal and how to report it


What this program does not focus on

  • Small-scale illegal waste disposal operators (this is managed by local councils and EPA's OPLE program).
  • Illegal waste disposal at municipal landfills (this is managed by local councils and EPA's OPLE program).
  • Illegal waste dumping at the community level (we have a new program launching in March 2023). 

About large-scale, illegal waste disposal practices

    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.

    Compliance and enforcement

    Our program uses data analytics, as well as our industry and community knowledge to deter illegal waste disposal, and reduce community acceptance of illegal waste disposal.

    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
    • site inspections
    • co-regulatory partnerships between government agencies, law enforcement, local councils, co-regulators and key stakeholders. 
    • formal investigations and prosecutions under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

    How we guide the construction industry

    EPA guides the construction and demolition industries on their waste management practices. Our guidance focuses on helping waste producers, waste transporters and waste receivers to understand their obligations, so they can do the right thing. 

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


    Who we partner with

    To guide and support industry, we partner with: 

    Read next

    EPA's programs and projects

    About EPA's illegal waste dumping campaign

    Reviewed 17 February 2023