Store waste responsibly during COVID-19

The community is reminded to manage waste responsibly when de-cluttering or gardening, with councils throughout NSW having experienced a rise in illegally dumped waste during COVID-19.

Across NSW, there was a 34 per cent increase in reports of illegal dumping incidents to 1,918 last month compared to April 2019, reported to the RIDonline database used by NSW councils and government agencies to record and manage illegal dumping incidents.

Illegally dumped waste can harm human health, pollute the environment and cost millions of dollars in taxpayer money each year to clean up.

Reports of dumped household waste were up 42 per cent to 1,111, green waste and mulch rose by 30 per cent to 112 across the state, while some areas, like Western Sydney, have seen an even bigger increase.

Most people do the right thing and book in a waste pick up service with their council or consider selling items in good condition though online forums. Leaving waste on the kerbside without contacting your council could be illegal dumping and cost thousands of dollars in fines.

If your next council collection is not for a while, store your unwanted goods safely until they can be disposed of.

COVID-19 is also putting stress on charity stores and volunteers. If your local op shop or charity bin is closed, don’t leave your donations outside. Look for an alternative nearby, or revisit when the store is open. Goods left outside often become waste, costing charities to clean up and dispose of.

If you spot illegal dumping in NSW, you can report it at ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au or to your local council.

The NSW Government is working with councils and waste operators to keep critical waste services open during COVID-19.