Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping impacts more than the environment, it impacts our way of life.

In 2016, Council received more than 400 complaints of illegal dumping across the region, with a clean-up bill in excess of $500,000.

These illegal dumping sites are not only ugly they can cause health hazards and stop residents enjoying their neighbourhood.

Illegal dumping sites can:

  • Be a breeding site for rats, snakes and other pests
  • Be a breeding site for dengue-baring mosquitoes and electric ants
  • Block drains and storm water run-off and thereby cause flooding
  • Have broken glass, rusted metal, syringes and other hazardous items that can injure people
  • Cause water pollution
  • Spreads weeds and other noxious plants into our natural areas

Read more about littering and illegal dumping and Council's response

Find out what you can take to a transfer station

See it. Report it. Stop it.

Illegal dumpers can be fined up $2,500, or face even greater penalties if the matter is taken to court.

If you see someone dumping rubbish contact Council immediately on 1300 69 22 47 or email us at council@cairns.qld.gov.au.

Your safety is important

If you see someone dumping rubbish:

  • Do not approach the vehicle or individuals who are illegally dumping
  • Do not let the illegal dumpers know you are there
  • Do not touch the illegally dumped material

You can also report littering and illegal dumping involving a vehicle or vessel directly to Department of Environment Heritage Protection (EHP).

Green waste is illegal dumping

Many people illegally dump green waste from their homes such as lawn clippings, palm fronds and tree branches, onto road reserves, drains and parks.

While green waste does break down it can take a long time and subsequently can cause the problems listed above.

Council offers two free, green waste drop-offs each year giving residents the chance to take their green waste to a transfer station for free. The green waste is then converted to mulch which we offer back to our residents at no charge.

Read more about the green waste drop-off initiative and responsible waste disposal options

Take it to a transfer station for free

Many commonly dumped items can be taken to a transfer station for free. These include:

  • Batteries, including car batteries
  • Cardboard
  • Chemical drums (Babinda and Gordonvale only)
  • E-waste, such as computers and printers
  • EPIRB
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gas bottle
  • Household hazardous waste, such as paint and solvents, less than 20 litres
  • Light bulbs and florescent tubes
  • Mobile phones
  • Motor oil, less than 20 litres
  • Paper
  • Recyclable materials
  • Resalable items selected for the Buy Back Shop
  • Scrap metal such as aluminium, copper, brass, steel and stainless steel
  • Smoke alarms
  • White goods such as fridges and microwaves
Last updated: 04 January 2018