Dumping rubbish is illegal
Leaving rubbish on the footpath, nature strip, in a park, laneway, street or next to a bin is illegal.
This includes leaving items outside a charity bin or op shop. Goods are exposed to the weather and to scavenging and can be damaged, leaving them unfit for resale. Charities spend millions of dollars every year cleaning up dumped rubbish.
Council is able to issue a fine or prosecute the matter in court under the Environmental Protection Act 1970 if there is enough evidence to prove a person has illegally dumped rubbish.
On-the-spot fines for littering or dumping range from $119 to $239 for small items to a maximum of $4000 if the matter is prosecuted in court.
Litter and dumped rubbish are the most visible forms of pollution and are costly to remove.
Report illegally dumped rubbish
Report dumped rubbish through the Council website or contact Council.
Any information can assist Council to carry out a formal investigation and stop repeat offenders from dumping rubbish in Merri-bek.
If you saw the rubbish being dumped, please provide information such as the vehicle registration, make and model of the vehicle, time and place of the offence, description of the litter, and who the offence was committed by (driver or passenger). You need to be willing to appear as a witness in court if required.
Report littering from motor vehicles to the EPA and they can issue an infringement notice to litterers.
See how to report an abandoned shopping trolley.
What happens after you report illegally dumped rubbish
Council will respond to illegal dumped rubbish within 72 hours.
If we find out who has dumped the material, we will investigate and may begin enforcement action. In these cases it takes longer than 72 hours to remove the material.
If we are able to identify the person who dumped the rubbish, we send a notice advising them of a breach of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and issue them with a fine and clean-up costs.
Ways to dispose of rubbish legally
The most commonly dumped items in Merri-bek are household rubbish, furniture, mattresses, green waste, computers and televisions. Sometimes dangerous goods and hazardous waste are dumped.
See Council's A-Z guide to waste and recycling for ways to reuse, recycle or responsibly dispose of items.
For household waste, Council runs a hard waste collection each year and there are also recycling centres and landfills (rubbish tips) close to Merri-bek.
For garden waste, you can order a green waste bin from Council.
For hazardous waste, see the Detox your Home permanent sites and mobile service.
See a list of charities that collect donations from your home.
We hear you Merri-bekers! Dumped rubbish is the number one thing you complained to Council about. We hate it too. This video includes captions.