Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping is the unlawful deposit of any type of waste material that is 200 litres or more in volume. Illegal dumping of household rubbish, garden waste, building and commercial waste or other materials damages Brisbane’s natural areas. This includes the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay.

The deposit of any type of waste material that is less than 200 litres is also unlawful and penalties apply.

Brisbane City Council classes items left on a footpath, (outside of organised collection days) or outside a charity bin or shop, as illegal dumping.

You can report illegal dumping. Your safety in a situation where someone may be illegally dumping is important to Council. Do not:

  • approach the vehicle or individuals who are illegally dumping  
  • let the illegal dumpers know you are there
  • touch the illegally dumped material.

Illegal dumping

Every year, Council spends half a million dollars of ratepayers' money on cleaning up illegally dumped waste. Even more money is spent on fixing infrastructure and natural areas impacted by dumping. Dumpsites can lower property values and also attract other illegal activities.

Illegal dumping causes chemical and physical pollution in our neighbourhoods and waterways. It also spreads pests and weeds, including fire ants and lantana. Even dumping old furniture is a problem because it may encourage others to dump more dangerous waste.

Risks involved with illegal dumping include sharp objects, asbestos, toxic substances, nappies and medical waste. There is also the serious threat of children suffocating in refrigerators that still have doors attached.

Illegal dumps are fire hazards. Tree stumps and tyres left on the road can cause accidents. Dumpsites can block stormwater drains and be breeding grounds for flies, mosquitoes and rats.

How to stop illegal dumping

Never allow people to use your vehicle to illegally dump. If your vehicle is used to illegally dump, you can be fined or prosecuted.

Always ask for a transfer station receipt:

  • if you have employed a gardener, landscaper or builder to remove your waste
  • if someone borrows your vehicle to move house or clean up their yard
  • if you have employees using your vehicles to remove waste.

Fines and prosecution for illegal dumping

As of 1 July 2021, the value of a penalty unit is equal to $137.85. The fine amount must be rounded down to the nearest dollar after the calculation. For example, the fine amount for an infringement of two penalty units is: 2 x $137.85 = $275.70. The rounded down fine amount is $275.

Council issues on-the-spot fines to individuals for the following amounts of dumped waste:

  • less than 200 litres - two penalty units
  • between 200 litres and 2500 litres - 16 penalty units
  • over 2500 litres - 20 penalty units.

Council also issues on-the-spot fines to corporations for the following amounts of dumped waste:

  • less than 200 litres - 10 penalty units
  • between 200 litres and 2500 litres - 50 penalty units
  • over 2500 litres - 75 penalty units.

For more serious offences, Council will consider prosecution with maximum penalties in the order of 400 to 1000 penalty units. Council will consider this option for dumping:

  • by repeat offenders
  • dangerous waste (such as asbestos, medical waste or waste that is likely to cause harm to a person, property or the environment)
  • by commercial and small business operators.

Received a fine? Find out your payment options and more

Waste reduction services

Council has weekly bin collections for your general household rubbish and fortnightly bin collections for your household recyclables.

Services available for disposal of excess rubbish, green waste and larger items.
Type of rubbish Where to take it
Excess household and green waste

Rubbish too big to put in your weekly bin can go to one of Council's four resource recovery centres. Ten waste vouchers (100 kilograms each) are provided to households each year. If you need to, you can give your voucher to someone else to dispose of the waste for you. 

A special one-off collection for your wheelie bin or an additional bin can be ordered for a property. To order a wheelie bin, phone Council on 07 3403 8888. Charges apply for these services.

Household hazardous waste You can take your household hazardous waste and chemicals to one of Council's four resource recovery centres on the household hazardous waste collection days.
Hard fill or inert wastes Queensland Recycling at Nudgee and Archerfield recycle unwanted hard fill such as soil, concrete, bricks and inert wastes such as glass or tin. Phone Queensland Recycling 13 61 35 for information.
Large scale waste removal

Use commercial waste removalists and skip hire companies – use Google or your local newspaper for contact details. 

Tyres, vehicles and other recyclables Commercial recyclers exist for almost all recyclable goods – use Google or your local newspaper for contact details.
Last updated: 1 July 2021

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.