Extending council capacity by engaging outdoor staff

Illegal dumping case study – City of Botany Bay Council


During 2013–14, the City of Botany Bay Council recorded 714 illegal dumping offences. Council employed two designated waste compliance staff, and carried out the following actions to further extend its capacity.

Key actions and results

  • Engaged outdoor staff such as garbage collectors, street sweepers, tree loppers and landscapers in illegal dumping awareness and prevention.
  • Improved data collection using patrols to record the location, time, waste type and volume of illegal dumping, which identified hotspots and peak dumping times.
  • Encouraged continued cooperation with outdoor staff by sharing information such as penalty notices and fine amounts issued.
  • Distributed succinctly worded postcards to households, especially those close to dumping hotspots. These informed householders about both the problem and the potential actions they could take.
  • Erected signs to inform the public about the legal and social consequences of illegal dumping.
  • Installed a series of surveillance cameras close to hotspot areas.

Top tips

  • Outdoor staff proved an invaluable resource. These staff are ‘eyes on the street’, often the first to observe dumping and are able to alert waste officers. At times they also provided clean-up support.
  • The holistic approach taken achieved a 21 per cent decrease in illegal dumping, far more successful than any one action in isolation.
  • Collecting better data revealed that some of the previously held assumptions around dumping behaviour were wrong; this was an essential step in improving success rates.
  • Education and awareness are crucial. Informative postcards were made more appealing by minimising text.
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