Illegal dumping is unsightly and puts our health and safety at risk, especially when hazardous chemicals or asbestos are involved and can harm the environment by polluting land and waters. Illegal dumping is also bad for land owners who could be breaking the law by knowingly or unknowingly allowing waste to be dumped on their property without the necessary approvals, licence or permit. Even if a land owner unwittingly allows waste to be dumped on their property it can still contaminate the land and water, and cost thousands of dollars in clean-up costs.
Illegally dumped waste is also expensive for government and the community to clean up.
There are significant penalties for those caught illegally dumping waste. For individuals, penalties can be as high as $500,000 or four years imprisonment. For a corporate body the penalty can be as high as $2 million.
Unlawful disposal of waste
Waste producers or transporters who dispose of waste illegally could be fined up to $120,000 and face up to two years imprisonment and corporations face fines of up to $250,000, under clause 10 of the Environment Protection (Waste to resources) Policy 2010. Poor operators could even have their EPA licence revoked.
Causing environmental harm
If you dump waste and the dumping causes serious environmental harm you could be liable for a fine of up to $500,000 and four years imprisonment, and corporations face fines up to $2 million under section 79 of the Environment Protection Act 1993.