The following projects tackle identified issues of litter and illegal dumping in targeted problem areas across Queensland. Learning's from these projects are used to inform and improve campaigns aimed at changing littering and illegal dumping behaviours, long-term.

You can request any of the materials discussed in the project reports (sign artwork, factsheets, posters etc.) by emailing

Litter and Illegal Dumping Social Research

The Litter and Illegal Dumping Social Research report (PDF, 3.8 MB) presents an understanding of Queenslanders’ awareness, attitudes and behaviours in relation to littering and illegal dumping.

The study establishes baseline results to help inform behavioural change programs and messaging, and assess the performance and effectiveness of campaigns and intervention programs.

The baseline results will also assist in evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives under the Keeping Queensland Clean: the Litter and Illegal Dumping Plan.

Gillies Range Road: Litter and Illegal Dumping Prevention Project

Gillies Range Road, located between Gordonvale and Atherton, winds its way through the ancient rainforests of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage area. It is also a major hotspot for litter and illegal dumping.

The Gillies Range Road Litter and Illegal Dumping Prevention Project involved the clean-up of several sites on the road to remove accumulated illegal dumping along with a promotional campaign, road signage and increased surveillance.

This project was in partnership with Wet Tropics Management Authority, Tablelands Regional Council, Cairns Regional Council, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Terrain NRM and local community members.

View the results of the project in the Gillies Range Road:Litter and Illegal Dumping Prevention Project Report (PDF, 5.3 MB) .

If you live in this area, you can continue to help by:

  • holding onto your rubbish until you get to a bin, or taking larger waste items to the tip
  • if you see anyone littering from a vehicle, or illegally dumping, report them online
  • talk to your friends and family and encourage them to do the same
  • share your own messages on social media, supporting a clean community.

Illegal dumping in the Beerburrum Forest area

The Beerburrum Forest area, near the Glasshouse Mountains around 60km north of Brisbane, is a great place for walking, mountain-bike-riding, horse-riding and four-wheel-driving. The area is home to various native and vulnerable species of birds, marsupials and reptiles. The pine plantation is operated by HQPlantations under a lease from the Queensland Government, providing jobs as well as timber for commercial industries.

However, the Beerburrum Forest area has become a hotspot for illegal dumping. The department, in partnership with local governments, HQPlantations and Crime Stoppers, delivered a behaviour change campaign to trial interventions such as signage and community engagement to reduce the incidents of illegal dumping. Evaluation results have shown that the campaign was a success, and reduced illegal dumping by 30 dump sites per 100km of road within the forestry.

The result of the Beerburrum Forest area pilot project (PDF, 15.4MB) is a proven effective framework that can be customised and used by land managers to reduce illegal dumping in natural areas. This project and others like it delivered by the department have proved to be very valuable in applying to other similar scenarios around Queensland.

Littering on south west Queensland’s highways

Beverage containers, cigarettes and food-related products have been identified as the main littered items on south-west Queensland’s highways—hot-spot areas for littering.

In partnership with six surrounding councils—Balonne, Maranoa, Goondiwindi, Southern Downs, Toowoomba, and Western Downs — the Australian Packaging Covenant, and the Queensland Murray–Darling Committee the Love Queensland. Let’s keep it clean campaign was created to encourage all road-users to Love Queensland and help keep our highways free from litter.

Check out the results of the south west region roadside litter prevention pilot program (PDF, 14MB).

Understanding kerbside dumping behaviour

Kerbside dumping appears to be a widespread cultural practice in many urban areas. It is the act of placing unwanted items on the kerbside outside of official kerbside collection dates. It is expected that these items can then be collected by passers-by or that council officers will retrieve and dispose of the items appropriately.

Many people are unware that this behaviour is illegal and can carry heavy fines.

The pollution caused by illegally dumped kerbside items was identified as a problem within the Brisbane City Council area particularly which lead to a study of kerbside dumping behaviours.

The Understanding Kerbside Dumping Behaviour study sought to understand why people dumped material on kerbsides, and inform the development of strategies to address these drivers. Other information that could inform potential programs was also gathered, such as best times to intervene, and how people best receive information about this issue.

The study focussed on the southern suburbs in Brisbane City Council’s boundary and included a short structured interview with residents of suburbs with high levels of kerbside dumping. Information gathered from these interviews identified that the most common reasons for kerbside dumping were:

  • it is a simple method that works – dumpers agreed that most items were quickly collected
  • sharing items with other people – with many dumpers also collecting off the kerb
  • believing that kerbside disposal was the correct method of disposal
  • mistakenly believing that the council collection was coming up
  • lack of storage
  • it is the easiest option
  • lack of transport to the tip
  • cost of entry to the tip
  • the need to dump when moving house
  • seeing dumping as recycling.

Check out the results of the Understanding Kerbside Dumping Behaviour study (PDF, 897KB).

Illegal dumping at charity bins

The amount of poor quality items and rubbish dumped at charity bins and outside of charity shops is a major issue in Queensland. Good quality items are also going to waste as they are left exposed to the weather, can be scavenged through or taken, and can become a danger to public safety. Cleaning this up costs charities thousands of dollars each year, on top of losses of saleable goods—reducing their capacity of to deliver important lifesaving services in the community.

In partnership with UnitingCare, NACRO and Brisbane City Council, research has been undertaken on the attitudes and beliefs of donation behaviours and the impact of the dumping problem in Queensland: Does Your Donation Count or Cost? (PDF, 6.4MB)

Remember to place items inside a charity bin or donate instore. If your item is left next to a bin or outside a store it is considered littering or illegal dumping and fines apply.