Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is an issue across Nova Scotia. Regardless of why the dumping occurs, the issue remains the same – protection of the environment and removing the unsightly and potentially dangerous materials. The Solid Waste Division has a Waste Compliance Officer who is responsible for investigating and coordinating the clean-ups of these sites.

What’s the difference between litter and illegal dumping?

Litter means loose waste material that is distributed over a distance and illegal dumping is where there is a pile/grouping of material, left abandoned somewhere other than an approved location.

While there are a number of community groups who actively collect litter, everyone can do their part in clearing it up or not creating it in the first place. Here are tips on how you and your household can collect litter safely:

Preparing For Your Cleanup

  • Wear gloves at all times.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Wear sturdy footwear (no open toed shoes).

During Your Clean Up 

  • Do not pick up needles/syringes, glass, sharp, heavy or over-sized objects or hazardous waste. Call the Solid Waste Hotline at 1-888-873-3332 to report.
  • Do not compress garbage or reach into containers with hands or feet.
  • Do not wade into the water or climb steep hills/embankments to retrieve items.
  • Only pick up litter during daylight hours.
  • Wash your hands after your clean up.
  • Do not trespass on private property.

After Your Clean Up 

  • Bagged garbage can be placed curbside on your regular collection day.
  • Mark your litter collection bags as ‘litter’.
  • At this time there are no increases to curbside collection limits (5 bags per household).
  • If you collect materials that do not fit in a garbage bag, please check our “What Goes Where” tool below for proper disposal.
  • Do not leave materials at random roadside locations, place in commercial dumpsters, or leave at the end of others’ driveways.


If you see an illegal dumpsite, please do not disturb the material for both your safety and to ensure staff can conduct a thorough investigation.


If you have information on the location of an illegal dump please call the Solid Waste Hotline at 1-888-873-3332 to report it or alternatively submit the form below.

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