Dealing with dumped rubbish

Dumped rubbish in and around apartment buildings is a nuisance and a safety issue for residents, cleaners and property managers. Residents may believe they are helping to share unwanted item or may simply believe it’s the responsibility of council or the building manager to clean up the mess, however this is not the case. Dumping on public land is illegal under the Protection of the Operations of the Environment Act (POEO Act) and may incur a fine and dumping on common areas of strata buildings can lead to cost recovery measures.

Seven Tips for keeping common areas at your building clean and clear of dumped rubbish or litter at your building:

  1. Communicate regularly. It helps when owners or property managers communicate clearly to new residents or tenants. Dumping is often triggered by people moving in or out of a building who are unaware of Council’s services for collecting unwanted household items or how to book extra collections of cardboard for example.
  2. Develop a welcome pack. Strata or property managers are encouraged to create welcome information for new residents or tenants that includes information about how to dispose of waste and recycling in the building and other Council services. Download the digital file here.
  3. Consider implementing the waste strata by-law. Waverley Council has a template for a waste by-law for strata buildings in Waverley to support responsible waste disposal, deter dumping and facilitate cost recovery.
  4. Encourage positive community and social norms. In doing so, you create in a clean shared space that everyone enjoys. Council offers many opportunities to get involved in the community to learn about sustainable living, including reuse and repair workshops, litter clean ups, and how to get rid of rubbish right. By raising awareness of the impacts of dumped rubbish and litter, your building community are more likely to keep it clean and clear of rubbish.
  5. Post clear signage in common areas to indicate correct waste management practices. Request free signage and other educational materials here
  6. Consider using surveillance cameras in common areas to identify dumpers.
  7. Participate in working groups hosted by council and other organisations to help develop solutions that benefit the whole building community

Council’s role in preventing and enforcing against illegal dumping.

Dumping on Council land is illegal and subject to fines under the Protection of the Environment Act (POEO). Anyone can report dumping for investigation using ridonline.epa.nsw.gov.au

Learn more about Waverley Council’s approach to preventing and enforcing against illegal dumping. Link

Listen: Podcast: Practical waste management tips from Waverley Council

In podcast episode 152 of Your Strata Property, Practical waste management tips from Waverley Council, Strata lawyer Amanda Farmer interviews Waverley Council’s, Sustainable Waste Manager, Beth Kasumovic.