Flood recovery programs

We have several clean-up programs to help with the collection and disposal of debris from the March 2021, February-March 2022 and June-July 2022 storms and floods.

2022 storm and flood updates

If you are impacted by the 2022 floods, contact Service NSW, which is providing a one-stop shop for people and businesses to access all available recovery services. Find out more.

New South Wales experienced severe storms and flooding in March 2021 and again in February–March 2022 from the Hawkesbury River to the Queensland border. In June–July 2022, storms and flooding again affected much of the NSW coast including the south coast. This led to significant amounts of man-made and natural flood debris in rivers, estuaries, and adjacent coastlines in NSW. The Australian government declared many parts of the east coast a natural disaster.

We are leading several clean-up programs to ensure that flood generated debris on shorelines and in waterways is removed in a safe, effective, and efficient manner. Clean-up is being undertaken by specialist contractors.

Reporting flood debris

Anyone can report flood debris to the EPA’s Environment Line on 131 555 or by email: info@epa.nsw.gov.au.

When you submit your report, please include the type of debris, the location, nearest access point and photos.

The EPA's Shoreline Clean-up Program has now entered a maintenance phase, managing any debris which may appear following the initial clean-up.

Shoreline clean-up program summary infographic: As at May 2023 the EPA has removed 21,600.4m3 of flood debris from our waterways. That's enough to fill nearly 9 Olympic swimming pools As at May 2023, the EPA has removed 21,600.4m3 of flood debris from our waterways, beaches and the shorelines of our rivers. That's enough to fill nearly 9 Olympic swimming pools.

Darling-Barka River at Bourke

Darling-Barka program

This program will monitor river health until June 2025 and is coordinated by the EPA.

Find out more

Flood debris - ruined car

Land-based clean-up program

Removing man-made flood debris left on public land and eligible private land.

Find out more

Submerged debris program

Locates and identifies submerged (underwater) flood debris in rivers and removes it where it poses a hazard.

Find out more

Flood contaminated lands assessment program (Northern Rivers)

Free soil assessment for Northern Rivers properties that may be contaminated as a result of floods.

Find out more

Clarence River at Copmanhurst, September 2022

Water quality monitoring program

A comprehensive water quality monitoring program for waterways in disaster-declared local government areas.

Find out more

Agricultural chemicals after flooding, Tweed River, NSW

Flood agricultural chemical program

Free collection of flood-generated agricultural chemical waste on private land.

Find out more

Flooded landscape near Tibooburra, NSW

Flood clean-up on Aboriginal lands

Supports flood-impacted Aboriginal communities to assess and manage the clean-up of waste generated by the 2022 floods on Aboriginal lands.

Find out more

Corrugated iron debris from the 2021 Hawkesbury River floods

Illegal dumping & flood waste recovery program

Resolves remaining waste issues presenting after the initial emergency clean-up phase that are not eligible for other government funding sources.

Find out more

Lamps still lit during the 2022 floods, Grafton

Following the debris

See how the EPA is helping people to clean up after the devastating floods of 2021 and 2022.

Our story

After the initial focus on public land, the land-based program expanded in July 2022 to include the clean-up of eligible large or hazardous man-made debris on private land across all disaster declared flood-affected communities.  This helps those landowners that do not have the skills, capacity, specialist equipment or financial means to remove large or hazardous man-made debris.

The EPA is working with Service NSW so that the community can apply for support under this program through the Service NSW website.

The EPA has appointed MRA Consulting Group to project manage the clean-up of flood debris on public land and eligible large or hazardous debris on private land.

MRA will assess private land clean-up requests submitted via the Service NSW website.  For further information, call MRA Consulting Group on 0492 941 487, or email the program at floodwaste@mraconsulting.com.au.

Safety is a primary focus for the program, which is expected to run through until December 2022. Any hazardous waste such as asbestos will be assessed and removed by qualified experts.

See the Program Guidelines (PDF 1.1MB) for more information.

Note:  you cannot request support under this program for flood-damaged property or contents that were not moved by the flood event.


You can request support if:

How to request support

Apply on the Service NSW website.

  • Asbestos: asbestos containing materials (10m2 or more of bonded asbestos)
  • Cement: cladding, sheeting, cement mix, concrete, bitumen
  • Chemicals (more than 20 litres or 20 kilograms): household chemicals, hospital chemicals, industrial chemicals, pesticides, other chemicals
  • Engineered timber: treated timber, posts, engineered logs
  • Fencing: fence posts, fence wire, metal fencing, other wiring
  • Fuel (more than 20 litres or 20 kilograms): gas bottles, jerry cans, citronella, petroleum, diesel, other fuels
  • Furniture: couches, tables
  • Mattresses: springs, bed frames
  • Metal: metal posts and wiring, metal sheeting, machinery, shipping containers, vehicles (if uninsured) 
  • Oil (more than 20 litres or 20 kilograms): lubricants
  • Paint (more than 20 litres)
  • Plastic: rigid plastic, plastic tubs
  • Silage bales that are whole and intact or ruptured
  • Whitegoods.
  • Flood-damaged property or contents that were unmoved by the flood event/s
  • Leaves, driftwood, trees, aquatic weeds, branches, straw bales, soil, sand, creek pebbles and stones, roots, grass
  • Insured vehicles
  • Silage with small volumes of plastic attached or minimal plastic (less than 50% of whole bale covered)
  • Wildlife carcasses; kangaroos, birds, possums, foxes, feral pigs, rodents, other wildlife.