Littering and illegal dumping

Illegal dumping (sometimes called ‘fly tipping’) is where someone takes their waste and deposits it in a public place or someone else’s private property. Illegal dumping generally involves large amounts of rubbish, such as bags of household rubbish dumped in a park, whereas the term ‘littering’ is often used to describe smaller items which are more easily thrown away, such as a food wrapper discarded on the street. Depositing household or commercial rubbish in public litter bins is also a form of illegal dumping. These are all illegal acts.  

Not only is illegal dumping unpleasant to see in our community, but it can also be unsanitary, dangerous, and a risk to the environment. The other big problem is that the cost of cleaning up illegal dumping falls back on our ratepayers – something we don’t think is fair. It’s important for people to be aware that a small action can result in considerable costs for them. For example, throwing out some old car oil over a bank by the side of a road can result in oil entering a waterway and can result in tens of thousands of dollars in remediation costs, which will be passed onto the person responsible.

If we work on the problem of illegal dumping together as a community, we can keep the costs down for everyone and at the same time help protect Waitaki’s unique environment.

And you can help!

How to report and help with illegally dumped rubbish 

If you've seen someone littering or illegally dumping rubbish in a public place, avoid looking through or moving rubbish as this can impact how we can deal with it, but if identifiers such as names and addresses are present, take photos and report to Council ASAP.

You can report it to Council via one of the following ways:

  • Use our free app Snap Send Solve.  - the app works by identifying the location where the photo is being taken using the phone's GPS data (it's important that you send us the information from the actual location before you get home).
  • Lodge a service request by filling out an online service request form,
  • Email:,
  • Call us on 03 433 0300
  • Visit one of our Council offices.

If snap-send-solve is not possible, take note of the location and type of rubbish, including any identifiers and report to Council. Good location information is really helpful. If a person is witnessed dumping rubbish, avoid challenging them but take note of the time, date, place, what they did, description of the person and any vehicle used, including a registration number or any distinctive features. If considered safe to do so, take photos.

Please be discreet and careful not to put yourself at risk. Your safety comes first. 

How Council deals with it

Council has a zero-tolerance approach to illegal dumping and littering, and a range of options for dealing with this issue. We can issue infringement notices for littering and illegal dumping, charge for costs of investigation and clean-up, and take offenders to court where they can receive a hefty fine.

But we can’t do it without your help. Unfortunately, Council is not resourced to monitor every spot where someone might dump their rubbish. It does help us if you follow the process above if you see any littering or illegally dumped rubbish.

If possible, Council tries to identify the owner. We have a good success rate at determining who the illegal dumper is and making them pay, so it’s worth letting us know. 

How to get Snap Send Solve

Download the free app Snap Send Solve: 

Apple App Store 

Google Play Store 

Or you can visit the App store (Apple) or the Play store (Android) on your smart phone and search for 'Snap Send Solve' the app.