Litter & Illegal Dumping Reduction Plan

City of Gold Coast spends more than $7 million a year cleaning up litter and illegally dumped waste from our streets, parks, bushland, beaches and waterways. Despite the efforts by City staff and hundreds of volunteers, these wastes can cause harm to wildlife and people, as well as pollute our streets, natural areas, waterways and beaches.

The City's Litter and Illegal Dumping Reduction Plan (2019–24) aims to slow this growth and change littering and illegal dumping behaviours across the city using a more proactive approach. We love our city so let's keep it clean by disposing of waste responsibly in the first place.

This plan is the result of action 1.3 of the City's Solid Waste Strategy 2024. The plan also supports the Gold Coast Ocean Beaches Strategy (action 2.2) and the Gold Coast Water Strategy (action 4.5).

Plan vision: Creating a clean and liveable Gold Coast, free of litter and illegal dumping

The Litter and Illegal Dumping Reduction Plan will achieve its objectives through 11 key priorities:

  1. Communication – introduce both generic and targeted messaging to encourage positive behaviour change
  2. Partnerships – develop partnerships to share the responsibility
  3. City process – improve and better coordinate internal City processes
  4. Data and evaluation – collect, analysis and report data to support the plan
  5. Urban precincts – develop best practice anti-litter zones in high profile urban precincts
  6. Commercial hubs – reduce litter surrounding shopping centres, takeaway food outlets and service stations
  7. City spaces and events – improve litter management at high use parks and transport hubs, City facilities and event spaces
  8. Natural places – prevent litter reaching water environments and other natural places
  9. Tyres – reduce tyre dumping incidents
  10. Roadside dumping – reduce roadside dumping incidents
  11. Hotspots – prioritise and reduce the number of hotspots.

What we will see by 2024:

  • the growth rate of littering and illegal dumping is slowed
  • a reduction in the annual City spending rate on litter and illegal dumping
  • our local environment is protected
  • improved public health and safety
  • improved, better-integrated City services
  • our reputation as a premier tourist destination is maintained.

Fast facts

  • Ninety-nine per cent of the City's spending is reactive e.g. foot patrols, beach and canal cleaning, actioning complaints, investigating and issuing infringements.
  • There were 4401 pickups of dumped waste in 2019–20.
  • More than 1000 tonnes of litter and illegally dumped waste was collected across the city in 2020.
  • The five most commonly-littered items are cigarette butts, takeaway packaging, chewing gum, beverage containers and single-use plastics.
  • The most commonly dumped items are construction waste, green organics , household furniture and tyres.