Land-based Clean-up Program

The 2021 and 2022 floods left debris in waterways, along shorelines and on public and private lands. This program focusses on removing man-made flood debris left on public land and eligible private land.

When storms and floods in March 2021 washed large amounts of debris into our waterways, the EPA led the clean-up of our waterways and shorelines. Multiple floods in 2022 have generated a large amount of debris requiring further clean-up efforts. We continue to deliver a program to remove man-made flood debris left on other public land and eligible private land.

The Land-based Clean-up Program focuses on clearing flood debris from public land and eligible debris on private land. The Program follows the largest ever clean-up of waterways and shorelines in NSW.

The EPA is leading this Program to help communities and councils to recover from the extreme weather events over the last two years. Public land includes council managed parks, reserves, and beaches. The Land-based Program is funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The Land-based Clean-up Program has been expanded this year to include the clean-up of eligible large or hazardous man-made flood debris that has washed or moved onto private land. This includes debris from alternative locations, as a result of flooding across impacted communities. This helps those landowners that do not have the skills, capacity, specialist equipment or financial means to remove debris.

We have appointed MRA Consulting Group to project manage this program.

Who is eligible?

The Program is available to public land managers and owners or occupiers of private land within the declared local government disaster areas from the 2021 and 2022 storms and floods.

Natural disaster declaration areas

Benefits of the program

  • The Land-based Clean-up Program will remove the cost and burden for community recovering from the flood events and benefit the local environment with the removal of flood debris.
  • Cleaning up man-made flood debris which poses a risk to the environment and community safety.
  • Debris collected is separated into waste types to allow for recycling or re-use and diversion from landfills where possible.
  • Any hazardous waste will be assessed and removed by qualified experts.
  • Clean up focuses on debris that is safe to remove and does not result in additional environmental harm, especially on culturally sensitive sites.

How will it work?

Private land

Apply for support on the Service NSW website at: Request clean-up of flood debris on private land program

Additional information on eligibility criteria is available on the Service NSW website above and on the our flood recovery programs webpage.

This program is open until December 2022.

When applications are submitted, applicants can contact MRA for updates at the flood recovery hotline on 0492 941 487 or email

Public land

Public land managers can contact MRA Consulting directly to assess sites on public land for eligibility on 0499 051 380 or email

Local contractors are being used for the clean-up work where available and materials will be re-used or recycled wherever possible.

Fenced waste staging areas may be used as part of the clean-up program to temporarily and safely store debris that is collected before it is taken for recycling or disposal. Safety is a primary focus for the program.

What has been achieved so far?

Clean-up has been completed at 101 public land sites and is planned for a further 207 sites across various local government areas.

Over 100 tonnes of flood debris have been cleaned up and taken to landfill or recovery centres.

What is happening next?

Applications for the private land program are open. MRA are working through requests to clean-up eligible flood debris on private land and applicants will be notified of the next steps for support.

Site assessments and clean-ups under the public land program continue. Councils continue to engage with MRA to identify additional sites to clean up. The Program is being rolled out to respond to areas of greatest need. Local government areas initially targeted included:

  • Ballina
  • Bellingen
  • Byron
  • Central Coast
  • Clarence Valley
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Hawkesbury
  • Kempsey
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lismore
  • Mid Coast
  • Nambucca Valley
  • Newcastle
  • Northern Beaches
  • Penrith
  • Port Macquarie Hastings
  • Port Stephens
  • Richmond Valley
  • The Hills
  • Tweed Shire

Further areas have been included after assessment of areas impacted by the most recent flood events. These include:

  • Bayside
  • Blue Mountains
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Cessnock
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Kiama
  • Lithgow
  • Liverpool
  • Maitland
  • Narromine
  • Randwick
  • Shellharbour
  • Shoalhaven
  • Singleton
  • Warren
  • Wingecarribee
  • Wollondilly
  • Wollongong