If you see someone littering or illegal dumping from a vehicle, vessel or trailer, or if you find piles of dumped waste, you can report it using the Littering and Illegal Dumping Reporting Form. Of the littering reports received by the department almost 75% result in the registered owner of the vehicle or boat receiving a penalty infringement notice (see the Litter and illegal dumping legislation page for details on fines).
Before you complete your report – make sure that you read the information below, to ensure that the information you provide contains all the necessary details for the department to action your report successfully.
What details should I record?
When reporting littering from a vehicle or vessel, it is important that you take down as many details as possible. This includes:
- time and date of the incident
- place and address (or GPS co-ordinates) – the online map will make this easier
- description of location – identifiable features such as closest intersection, landmark or business
- vehicle/vessel registration number and State of registration
- make and model of the vehicle/vessel
- colour of the vehicle/vessel
- distinguishing features of the vehicle/vessel (stickers, dented panels, modifications)
- description of the person (including location in the vehicle, clothing, gender, hair colour)
- type of waste
- quantity of waste
- where the waste was deposited from (front or back passenger, driver)
- where were you located when you witnessed the incident
- photos of the vehicle, vessel or incident, if available.
Please remember it is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving.
Get a passenger to take a photo and record the details, or safely pull over and record the details of what you saw.
For your own safety, please do not approach the person depositing the waste.
Report illegal dumping to council or by email
You can also call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) and get a copy of the online reporting form sent to you.
What happens next?
The council or department will investigate your report and may issue a penalty infringement notice based on the investigation of the details supplied.
Departmental/council officers may contact you to confirm the details and obtain a witness statement for the report. To enable this, ensure that full contact details have been included in the report (all witness details are treated confidentially).
You will need to be willing to testify in court, although only a small number of cases proceed to court.
For illegal dumping reports, please do not disturb the site where the incident occurred as the site may contain hazardous materials and disturbance of the site can hinder evidence collection.
Tips for reporting
Keep any notes where you have recorded the details, even if they are on a shopping docket or scrap of paper.
When you get to your destination make further detailed notes about what you saw including as much information about the person, location and waste items. Photos are always helpful if safe to take some.
Remember you may be required to refer to your notes, should you be required to give evidence in Court, so keep them somewhere safe.
Untrue or malicious reports
Under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 it is an offence to give information that is false or misleading. To minimise the risk of untrue or malicious reporting, correct and detailed information must be provided by the witness on the report. The report is thoroughly assessed before a penalty infringement notice (fine) can be issued. The department may contact the reporter to clarify information and their memory of the incident. The witness or reporter must also commit to attend court to provide evidence if the matter is disputed.
If you have received a fine for littering or illegal dumping you have the right to request that it is reviewed by the department. See the Penalty infringement notices page for further information.