Illegal Dumping

Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is the incorrect disposal of waste and rubbish in public places. It’s different to littering as it involves larger items being incorrectly disposed of. These items range from garbage bags of rubbish to broken furniture and even building waste.

Illegal dumping includes:

  • Placing unwanted household items out on the kerbside without having booked a bulky waste collection.
  • Dumping rubbish in bushland, parks and public reserves.
  • Disposing of household and/or commercial waste in and/or around street litter and parks bins.
  • Dumping of hazardous building and trade waste e.g. asbestos.

Why is illegal dumping a problem?

Illegal dumping not only makes our public places less pleasant, but it can also be dangerous to our community and the environment.

When people illegally dump waste, it can:

  • Cause harm to human health e.g. dumped hazardous materials such as asbestos and sharps.
  • Contaminate soil and waterways with leached chemicals which poison plants and animals.
  • Attract vermin such as rats, cockroaches and flies.
  • Increase risk of fire and creation of toxic fumes.
  • Obstruct footpaths and roadways.

In addition to these dangers, cleaning up illegal dumping costs taxpayers thousands of dollars each year.

All these reasons make it very important that we dispose of our waste safely and correctly.

How can I dispose of excess, bulky or problem waste?

Illegal dumping is never the solution when you’re unsure of how to dispose of waste. Council offers many valuable services to help you manage your household waste.

Excess Waste

If you find yourself regularly producing excess household waste, we have some great tips on how to sort your waste and to help you make the most of Penrith’s 3-bin system. If you’re still short on room in your bins, you may benefit from a larger residual bin or an additional recycling bin. Check out our 3-bin service options to select a service that best suits your household’s needs.

Bulky Waste

Bulky waste is unwanted items which are too big or heavy for your household bins, such as furniture, mattresses and whitegoods. These items can be picked up as part of a bulky waste collection. Each household is provided up to four collections every year. The collected waste is recycled where possible. Learn more about which items are accepted, how to present your waste for collection, and how to make a booking on our bulky waste collection page.

If your unwanted items are in working condition, you may want to consider selling them online or hosting a garage sale. Good quality used items may be able to be donated to charity, but please always ensure you donate responsibly.

Problem Waste

Problem waste items do not belong in your household bins and are dangerous if dumped or disposed of incorrectly. Items such as gas bottles, paint, batteries and light globes are examples of problem waste. Many problem waste items can be dropped off for free at the Penrith Community Recycling Centre where they are processed for reuse or recycling.

Similarly, household chemicals can be taken to one of Council’s Chemical Cleanout events for safe disposal. Visit our problem waste page to find out more about how to dispose of this waste safely.


Did you know that you can get fined for illegal dumping? Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, individuals caught dumping can be issued an on the spot fine of $4,000 while companies can be fined $8,000. Repeat offenders can receive up to $100,000 fines and may face jail time.

What to do if you notice illegal dumping

Given the risk illegal dumping poses to our community, it’s important that if you notice illegal dumping that you take the time to report it. When illegal dumping is reported, Council can arrange to remove the waste safely and investigate where it originated from.

You can report illegal dumping at any time by visiting and providing details on the location and type of waste dumped.