Adapting surveillance techniques to deter different dumpers

Illegal dumping case study – City of Ryde


Promptly reduce chronic illegal dumping in two distinct types of hotspots by targeting the differing motivations of dumpers and using camera surveillance in two very different ways.


Camouflaged camera in a bollard

Camouflaged camera within a bollard. Courtesy of Ryde City council.

  • Identified two area types which were frequently used as dumping hotspots, and examined the motivations to dump in each scenario:
  • Remote isolated car parks.
  • Areas in proximity to multi-unit dwellings.
  • Installed covert surveillance cameras within existing bollards to catch illegal dumping in car parks; perpetrators were issued with Penalty Notices.
  • Collaborated with property managers to implement an educational campaign for multi-unit dwelling residents, providing pamphlets with waste information in Korean, Chinese and English.
  • Reduced provocations by initiating landscaping works to beautify the area around the dwellings.
  • Erected signs (in both scenarios) to inform potential dumpers about the ramifications of illegal dumping both for the individual (fines, clean-up notices) and for the community (absorbs council resources, creates a lack of community pride).

Top tips

  • Dumping compliance campaigns need to take account of the motivations of would-be dumpers, and address these specifically. No single method can be applied to fix all dumping problems.
  • Education and awareness are crucial. Since the educational campaign and continued beautification, council has seen a reduction in illegal dumping complaints around multi-unit dwellings in this area.
  • Where dumpers were aware of the illegality of dumping, a covert approach generating successful prosecutions was effective in changing behaviour.
  • Time invested in strategic camera placement and creative concealment is rewarded by capturing clearer images and minimising camera theft.


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