Illegal dumping piles up


Hannah Hammoud

Brimbank council is struggling to curb illegal tyre dumping which is costing ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Last year Brimbank council collected more than 70 tonnes of tyres dumped in public space in the municipality.

With a rise in illegal tyre dumping, environmental authorities are urging households and businesses to spare the environment and dispose of their used tyres legally and responsibly.

The Conservation Regulator and Parks Victoria recorded at least 60 separate illegal dumping incidents involving personal or commercial quantities of tyres across Victorian public land in 2023, with the state’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) estimating that thousands more have been dumped, burned, or stockpiled.

In Brimbank, council workers collected approximately 73 tonnes of tyres dumped in public space in 2023, equating to roughly 8,000 dumped tyres collected annually.

A Brimbank council spokesperson said the cost to collect and dispose of these tyres from council’s operations centre was $86,000.

“The resources required to deal with illegally dumped tyres impacts council’s ability to fund other community services,” the spokesperson said.

Council said it is aware of the large number of tyres that were dumped last year near the EJ Whitten Bridge in Sunshine North.

The EPA reports that dumped car tyres can have serious impacts on human and environmental health, with old tyres also containing harmful chemicals that leach into the environment and groundwater as they break down, potentially poisoning plants and animals.

Discarded tyres can also present a serious fire risk, as tyre fires are harder to control or extinguish than regular fires. As rubber burns hotter and more easily, tyres dumped in forests can fuel bushfires.

EPA west metropolitan regional manager Steve Lansdell said waste tyre dumping is a very serious pollution issue, with Victorians generating more than 100,000 tonnes of waste tyres each year.

“Waste tyres contribute to increased fire risks and environmental harm risks and will not be tolerated. EPA will continue to step in to clean up major waste stockpiles in regional areas and will not hesitate to act if it sees communities are at risk,” Mr Lansdell said.

Community members witnessing illegal dumping are encouraged to report this activity to council’s litter enforcement officers via Customer Service on 9249 4000 or VicPol on 131 444.

For information on how to correctly dispose of tyres, visit: