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 Common forms of illegal dumping we see are:

  • Dumping rubbish in or around public rubbish bins.
  • Placing waste outside public rubbish facilities like transfer stations.
  • Disposing of rubbish in drains, ditches and tipping it over banks.
  • Throwing rubbish out of windows along roads.
  • Leaving rubbish behind at the beach, public places, and community facilities like playgrounds.
  • Disposing of large amounts of material or big items at four-wheel drive tracks, down banks, or in remote locations.
  • Burning rubbish.
  • Digging burial tips especially for farm waste.
  • Waste left in front of charitable shops.
  • Putting rubbish waste into your recycling bin.

Even more worrying than any legal consequences for the person dumping the rubbish is the effect that illegal dumping has on humans, animals, and the environment.

Our water

One of the most hazardous effects of illegal dumping for our community is that it can pollute our waterways, shorelines and even contaminate our drinking water. Illegally dumped waste can contain hazardous materials which can enter the groundwater and waterways.

Rubbish dumped in waterways can also block waterways, drains, and ravines and cause flooding. The toxic material eventually leaches out of the waste into the water and will affect the wildlife and plants on the riverbank, in the lake, or in the ocean.

It is in the air

It seems far-fetched but burning waste has a harmful effect on the environment, but especially people’s health – it doesn’t just disappear into nothing. Burning non-biodegradable material causes toxic chemicals and fumes to enter the air. These fumes contain toxic substances and being breathed in can cause serious health problems like cancer.

It does stink

Random piles of unwanted waste rot and start to smell pretty bad. This is not a surprise but a disgrace and an indicator that unwanted substances do enter the soil and our water.

Our health

Living next to a dumping site is not good for anybody – especially if it is uncontrolled dumped waste that requires special treatment to be disposed of safely. Illegal dumping can cause health issues especially for people living close by.

Our land

Illegally tipped rubbish or buried waste does decrease the soil quality and negatively impacts the growth of crops planted on these sides.

Our people

Having rubbish laying around, often including harmful waste, is not what we want our children to encounter when playing on the beach, jumping into a river or exploring the bush. It is a safety hazard for our community.

Our Council

Someone ends up paying to clean up the rubbish that some people dump thoughtlessly around the district – it’s the Buller District Council and therefore, our ratepayers and the wider community.

Illegal dumping causes a multitude of problems as well as costing ratepayers. Eventually, somebody has to clean it up.

Key actions:

Join a clean-up event or organise your own. Contact us for more information and assistance.

The cost of illegal dumping falls to Buller District Council. It includes staffing costs, administration costs, removal and disposal costs. It also requires Council to invest in education campaigns and could mean that Council has to pay environmental rehabilitation costs. Eventually any costs associated with illegal dumping is paid out of rates paid by property owners.

We encourage you to dispose your rubbish safely, responsibly, and consciously to make sure you can enjoy clean water, stunning beaches, wild rivers, pristine bush and thriving wildlife in the future.

There is no excuse – it is illegal. The Litter Act 1979, Section 15- Offences and penalties makes it clear.

Deposit of litter in public place or on private land

(1) Every person commits an offence and is liable on conviction, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $20,000, who deposits any litter or, having deposited any litter, leaves it—

(a) in or on a public place; or

(b) in or on private land without the consent of its occupier.

(1A) Subsection (1) is subject to subsection (2).

(2) Where any person commits an offence against subsection (1), and the litter deposited is of such a nature as is likely to endanger any person or to cause physical injury or disease or infection to any person coming into contact with it (being in particular any bottle whether broken or not, glass, article containing glass, sharp or jagged material, or any substance of a toxic or poisonous nature) that person is liable on conviction—

(a) in the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 month, or to a fine not exceeding $7,500, or to both; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $30,000

Litter Act 1979, Section 15- Offences and penalties