Illegal Dumping Toolkit

Illegal Dumping Prevention Trials

Illegal Dumping Prevention Trials


District Council of Mallala

The illegal dumping problem:

The incidence of illegal dumping had been escalating in the District Council of Mallala to the point where in 2006/2007 Council collected and disposed of approximately 450 loads of illegally dumped waste. 

Signs stipulating fines associated with illegal dumping have had very little affect. Surveillance cameras were considered to be the best option. Five major 'hot spots' were identified and all were shown to be in open secluded areas without easy access to a power supply.


The aim of the project was to reduce the incidence of illegal dumping by utilising mobile, motion sensor, low-light surveillance cameras capable of providing clear images of vehicles travelling at speeds in excess of 60 kph regardless of the time of day.

This innovative project was identified as the first of its kind to be operational for illegal dumping purposes; not only in South Australia but also nationally and internationally.

Specific surveillance cameras and a mini digital recording device were connected to a 12 volt battery supply to capture images that would assist in providing evidence and elements of the relevant offence. Cameras were covertly placed to avoid location and vandalism.

Stakeholders and Partners:

  • Zero Waste SA
  • KESAB environmental solutions
  • EPA
  • City of Salisbury
  • City of Playford
  • City of Pt Adelaide/Enfield
  • District Council of Grant
  • City of Tea Tree Gully

Illegal dumping preventative measures implemented by council:

Several specific types of camera and other equipment have been trialled and various combinations are capable of automatically capturing images from daylight to darkness.   The combined equipment is able to generate a log of captured images of a quality that assists in proving the elements of the relevant offence, such as:

  • Make and model of vehicle
  • Colour of vehicle
  • Registration plate of vehicle and trailer, if applicable, and contents of trailer pre-dumping and post-dumping
  • Images of persons in the act of illegal dumping


Persons dumping illegally may find it easy to rationalise and find excuses for their behaviour. In an attempt to change this unacceptable behaviour, education and advertising strategies were included in the project, coupled with "WE'RE OUT TO GET YOU" signs being installed in targeted areas.

The project has been promoted by utilising the media including local and state newspapers, radio interviews with ABC Radio, as well as being included in television programs such as "Today Tonight", Adelaide. In addition to this, several Conference Presentations in South Australia and Western Australia have been given.


  • 40% reduction in the incidence of illegal dumping in previous identified 'hotspots' over 6 month corresponding period from the previous year.

The project has demonstrated financial benefits by significantly reducing costs to Council for wages and equipment such as trucks, trailers and skid steer as well as reducing the dumping fees normally associated with disposal of illegally dumped rubbish.

The reduction in the amount of unsightly dumped material has had a very positive impact on the community's well-being.  Residents have taken a renewed sense of pride in their area as it is no longer littered with unsightly and decaying materials.

Property values have also increased due to stolen, burnt-out vehicles no longer being dumped in previously affected areas.

Environmental benefits have included the noticeable reduction of pollution in our waterways, mangroves and beachfronts, the reduction of possible air-borne particles associated with broken and shattered asbestos. It has also significantly reduced the amount of wind blown litter previously associated with illegal dumping.