Food Truck Has Set up Shop a Few Doors down - Patrons Are Littering Like It's Going out of Fashion

Hi guys

Tldr: Food truck has set up shop down the road in western Sydney suburb - littering has increased dramatically - owner is not doing his part. Options?

EDIT: thanks everyone for lots of ideas but also confirmation that they have to do their part here. Just checked out the area and they have definitely cleaned up the area - removed, cups and cans - so talking to them and eating there has definetly helped. Just tidies and torn up receipts now - not that much of an eyesore and also a nightmare to pick up. They've put a sign up: 'DO NOT park in neighbors driveway' after this queenslander who moved in across the road had a bit of a freak out 🤣

We live in a row of cottages and on the corner of our street a food truck set up shop on a disused car lot. It's a major busy Sydney road.

The food truck is doing well - which is great - 5-6 people have jobs over there. The patrons unfortunately are chucking cups, cans, bottles, plates, receipts out the windows of their cars and in two weeks the street's turned into a dump. It was actually pretty tidy before as residents were looking after it). Some of their stuff is even making it into our garden (plastic bags).

I've spoken to the owner and he said he can only tell the people to not litter (which he doesn't). I suggested they should clean up once a day. He wasn't enthused and they pick up rubbish once a week, but are not very thorough.

The residents of our row of 5 cottages usually pick up rubbish when they see it - but their shit is too much and I feel this might have kicked off a downward spiral.

Not only are the patrons thrashing the place, in the eyes of one of my neighbours, they're casting a bad light on the ethnicity of the patrons (98% of their customers). Another neighbour has actually gotten into a fight with a guy who parked in his driveway.


EDIT: did a bit of digging as advised by some of the users here and found a form they need to fill out. Bottom right of page 2 states some of the waste responsibilities of the owner. We' re just about 10meters from the location but patrons park all the way down the street.


  • +38

    Speak to council?

    • +2

      Can they actually enforce anything? The business hours there start at 6pm until midnight. None of the packaging has the business name on it but the cups for example are very typical for the kind of coffee they serve.

      I just don't believe that a council worker will actually come an inspect when it's busy - Parramatta council is just all kinds of useless - and slow. I just asked them about residents parking and 6 weeks later no reply other than that they're looking at my request.

      • +24

        They could cancel his licence to operate

        • Ok - will read into that. Food trucks definitely need one in nsw?

          • +52

            @Powlie85: Mate, you need a licence to scratch yourself (of course only available after the paying the requisite fee) in this fair land.

            • +11

              @Seraphin7: Where can I obtain a scratching license. I assume there will be some kind of test to confirm I am using the correct techniques, will there be an inspector or some training required?

              • +16

                @Mike88: Are you suggesting you've been operating without the appropriate accreditations ?!?!?

                • +1

                  @Seraphin7: Of course not, what kind of low life do you think I am?
                  As someone who has been through all the theory on the subject and even investigated experimental methods, I would like to know how I turn this knowledge into something more practical and maybe even commercialise it in the future.

                  • +1

                    @Mike88: Well, that's a relief. Too many rogue operators creeping into in the system these days and raising merry hell for those trying to do the right thing!

        • +2

          Assuming they have a license…

        • -2

          It is a bit rough taking his licence I think. He’s trying to earn a living. It’s one thing if he doesn’t give a shit but another entirely if he is trying to do the right thing but is hampered by people being (profanity).

          If he has provided a bin for people to put their rubbish into and people don’t then he can’t exactly stop them littering.

          Unfortunately the sort of people who chuck shit out their car window if confronted might not end nicely.

          • @knick007: Most of them look pretty harmless - but also not like they really care.

            • +1

              @Powlie85: Savages. If I can catch up to them, I like to return their refuse.

              • @Scrooge McDuck: Yeah I've done that on two occasions - one guy almost had a heart attack as he thought he was getting carjacked 😂 I wasn't being aggressive btw - just opened car door quite suddenly and asked him to take his cup with him.
                The other time I could tell the people in the car thought I was a nuisance - reluctantly said sorry but I could tell they did t care and will do it again. They weren't annoyed at themselves but rather me bringing it up with them….

          • +1

            @knick007: I work across the road from a McDonalds, their staff do multiple walkarounds per day to ensure their carpark and the surrounding area is free of rubbish.

            No excuses for this guy whatsoever, part of running a busy food business. The residents have a right to be pissed.

          • @knick007: Do people have a right to break laws in order to make a living?

            Anyway, from what I've read about the food service industry, loss of licence isn't the first step for minor breaches of regulations. The business is first given a chance to rectify the situation. If there are repeated breaches, then the licence will be cancelled.

    • But yeah - what I meant is that I wanted to avoid it and instead just tell him what will happen if council get involved!?

      • +8

        Let’s the authorities earn their money buy doing their job ( despite how they might be “useless” ).

        I don’t think you should intervene directly.

        Maybe record a video/photos for evidence of how much mess they make in a public area.

        • +3

          Have been taking photos - of the rubbish and also binbags sitting outside their bins and an ibis flock picking at it. There's heaps.

      • +9

        If council get involved, they have the power to effectively shut it down. What they might actually do/how long it will take them to do is another question.

      • +3

        Dont get involved more than u need to. Council will give them a warning. They might put some bins in the area for customers. Report it and relax for a bit.

    • +3

      You'd be lucky if they responded before the next worldwide pandemic.

      Councils are the most useless and wasteful form of government.

  • +18

    Collect the rubbish and dump it on his counter. Rinse and repeat until he gets the message. Alternately, put a wheelie bin outside your place with a sign saying “Rubbish here”. Alternately, put up a monitor camera that shows the outside of the houses and paste pictures of the people littering on the surrounding light poles.

    • +12

      Those are some good ideas - not low key but I like it . Reminds me of the Sydney shops that print out and hang up photos of shoplifters.

      • +2

        There was a restaurant near us that had graffiti problems. They put the pictures of the vandals up on their windows and didn’t have any issues after that.

    • +1

      if I was in sydney I would have joined

    • -20

      Collect the rubbish and dump it on his counter. Rinse and repeat until he gets the message

      What an idiotic response. You think McDonald's should be collect the rubbish wherever the customers choose to dump it?

      • +16

        They certainly send people around the immediate area to clean up. McDonald rubbish everywhere is not a good look for them.

        • -7

          Yes, I've done it a couple times. But we don't go out the immediate area and pick up rubbish even if it came from McDonalds.

      • +3

        Frankly, if they want to enhance their reputation then yes.

        • -2

          I think people are smart enough to not blame McDonalds just because their customers litter.

          • +4

            @ozhunter: Ask people who end up with McDonalds wrappers, repeatedly, in their gardens.

            • @try2bhelpful: I should have been more clear and say there aren't some smart people around…

              You think McDonalds should send someone to go to there house and pick it up?

              • @ozhunter: There aren’t some considerate people around either.

                • +1

                  @try2bhelpful: Yep, and it's the people littering, not the owner who sold the food.

                  Do you blame Coca-Cola when you see people don't dispose of the can properly?

                  • +4

                    @ozhunter: Dumping the rubbish at Coca Cola or McDonalds probably won’t help because these big corporations don’t give a shit. However, the food truck might review their packaging choices and ensure their customers are reminded to be respectful. I don’t understand people who just dump rubbish, they are compete tossers; in all senses of the word.

                    • -3


                      Dumping the rubbish at Coca Cola or McDonalds probably won’t help because these big corporations don’t give a shit.

                      Wth! That's not the point. It's not their responsibility nor should it be just because they sold the product.

                      Collect the rubbish and dump it on his counter

                      You don't just dump in on his counter because he can't control what his customers do.

                      However, the food truck might review their packaging choices and ensure their customers are reminded to be respectful.

                      It's not like the customers don't know not to litter. It's not on the owner to teach them either. As if him saying anything would make a difference to whether they litter or not.

                      However, the food truck might review their packaging choices

                      No idea if the packaging is excessive or not. Still not the point.

                      • +6

                        @ozhunter: The food truck is gaining financially from being there. If he is creating a nuisance then his licence to trade there might be revoked. It is in his interest to be on good terms with the neighbours because he is the source of the nuisance even if he is not doing it himself. It is very much the point because he is the one making the financial gain.

                        • -1

                          @try2bhelpful: I'm not saying he shouldn't have no responsibility at all, but you sound like he should have unlimited responsibility.

                          I don't know what the law is, but keeping his area- say 10-20 meters of his truck clear of his rubbish sounds reasonable. Just curious, what distance sounds reasonable to you?

                          • +3

                            @ozhunter: The distance where people are complaining to him about. The last thing the food truck wants is a concerted campaign to get him closed down due to adversely affecting the neighbourhood. By the description above it sounds like the food truck isn’t cleaning up the surrounding area.

                            • -3

                              @try2bhelpful: How many complaints required before he should do something?

                              By the description above it sounds like the food truck isn’t cleaning up the surrounding area.

                              How many meters is this "surrounding area"? I mean, I think he would clean up the any rubbish around his truck. I'd guess it would deter customers from buying food if there was rubbish everywhere.

                              The last thing the food truck wants is a concerted campaign to get him closed down

                              Lefties like to do this a lot to things they don't like

                              • @ozhunter:

                                How many meters is this "surrounding area"?

                                Whatever distance the rubbish is concentrated enough and is easily identifiable as being from the food truck.

                                A very occasional McDonald's wrapper people wouldn't worry about, but if there are loads of cups, wrappers, and bags in a small area people would get upset about.

                                • -1

                                  @Quantumcat: That's ridiculous. People could just purchase from the vendor then drive away and throw the rubbish out the car window(like they have been doing). Maybe it's mentality like yours which is causing this guys customers to not even bother to throw their rubbish in the bin.

                              • +6

                                @ozhunter: Nothing to do with “lefties” in fact you will find this happens most in places like Toorak where they are very particular about what happens in their backyard. You are doing your argument no good by throwing out unsubstantiated insults.

                                • -5

                                  @try2bhelpful: Didn't think lefties was an insult. I don't even think lwnj or rwnj is insulting, just saying in jest whether someone leans left or right.

                                  Maybe if you think of it like a sexual assault case would make it easier to understand. Blame and punish the perp(the person littering). Sure if the food truck wasn't there(or if the girl didn't go to the nightclub), there likely would be no rubbish from his truck on the street(and the girl wouldn't have gotten assaulted)

                  • @ozhunter: You mean the same Coca-Cola that's been the subject of a massive global campaign about how it's the number one source of plastic waste and now they're making paper bottles?

                    That Coca-Cola?

  • +1

    Check out the council web site for food vans and have a read also check out the garbage area to see if there is anything. This will help when you ring the council so you at least hopefully are prepared for what they need.

  • +2

    Take photos. Anonymously report to council. This might sound weak, but some businesses don’t take kindly to people bursting their bubble.

  • +11

    If the owner doesn't want to cooperate (aka "doesn't care"), start writing bad reviews everywhere and post pictures of the rubbish on his social media.
    And/or, collect it and dump it in his truck.

    • This is pretty good idea, lot of people are community minded on FB/Google.

  • +16

    The patrons unfortunately are chucking cups, cans, bottles, plates, receipts out the windows of their cars

    You know what to do.

    Report littering from a vehicle
    If you see someone littering from their vehicle, you can report them to the EPA. Fines from $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation can be issued from your report.

    To report littering from a vehicle you need to

    have actually seen the litter being thrown, or blown, from the vehicle
    provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place
    report the incident within 14 days

    • +2

      I once did that when a girl in the passenger seat in the car next to me threw a smoldering ciggie out the window. She flipped me the bird when she realised I'd noticed and looked at her disapprovingly. She got a bit madder when I jotted down the rego. I think I got an automated email that a fine or warning may be sent based on my report.

      • -1

        I think I got an automated email that a fine or warning may be sent based on my report

        At most a warning, otherwise people will be reporting anyone they have a grievance with.

        • +4

          The EPA definitely sends fines. You'd be surprised how many complaints there are on Whingepool and OzB from people getting them.

          • @Kyanar: So someone makes a claim and the supposed offender gets a fine? Do you need to provide evidence?

            • @ihbh: Most people who complain obviously insist that there's definitely no evidence and they'd never do such a thing, as you'd expect. Some insist that they tried challenging the fine and got told they have to prove they're innocent (contrary to popular belief, it's not innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent - the magistrate if it goes that far just has to be convinced that on balance of probabilities, you're more likely than not to have done it).

              That in mind, most government departments really can't be bothered answering a challenge if there's a chance a fine will be thrown out so if the offender disputes, they'll usually just waive it unless they have photographic or video evidence.

            • +1

              @ihbh: Yes, they get a fine.

              I reported one driver who threw a cigarette butt right next to me whilst at a red light (I was on my bicycle) I pointed at it and politely asked “would you like that back?”. He gave me the finger.
              He disputed the fine (EPA called me) on the basis that the time I reported was wrong… I said the time was a best estimate to within 15 mins. They asked if I was prepared to go to court if he continued to dispute it, I said yes and never heard about it again.

              So the only catch is if you report someone, they will get a fine but you have to be prepared to go to court if they dispute it.

              Always make sure you’re 100% certain of what you see before you report.

        • They definitely get a fine. Source: astonished girl at work who got a fine who then tried to argue the food wrapping had flown out of her window by mistake when she opened it

    • -1


      Back it up with photo/video evidence so the culprits can't get out of the fine because "Innocent until proven guilty."

      • +4

        One of my friends regularly reports people throwing cigarettes or rubbish from cars. They get fined.
        He has been called into court a few times as a witness or sent in his dashcam footage if they dispute it in court.

  • -3

    The patrons unfortunately are chucking cups, cans, bottles, plates, receipts out the windows of their cars

    How is the owner responsible for this?

    • +1

      I'm glad someone said this. Scratching my head at comments like thatonethere's above and wondering why they would be liable for poor human littering behaviour beyond their control. But not in the trade, so no idea.

      • +1

        When I worked at McDonald's ages ago, someone cleaned around the store each morning. Any rubbish in the surrounding area we weren't required to pick up, even if it was rubbish from McDonald's.

        • Beat me to it… the stores can be fined by councils for the littering as happened in the local maccas cronulla before it became too hard.

    • +3

      Who's responsible then? I don't have the time to hold his patrons accountable. Nobody from the council will come and clean up daily.
      He's making money there and all he needs to do is to instruct his staff to clean up the immediate aree (where his patrons park) and enforce it. If he doesn't do it he's making it the residents' problem - it is now and I want to know what others in that situation would do.

      • +6

        Who's responsible then? I

        The people littering.

        He could at least provide a bin and clean the area around his truck.

        • They have a bin on the lot - but no signs to ask people to keep the area clean.
          Different example - drunk people coming out of a pub late at night being noisy. Who would you complain to?

          Also - it would take forever to speak to every single one of his patrons to talk some sense to it. If you don't think the owner is responsible - what's your solution to this then?

          • @Powlie85:

            They have a bin on the lot - but no signs to ask people to keep the area clean.

            I mean, he could stick a sign on the bin saying, "Don't litter" but whether or not they do it, is not his responsibility.

            Different example - drink people coming out of a pub late at night being noisy. Who would you complain to?

            The council I guess. Once they leave the pub, why should it be the pub's problem?

            • +8

              @ozhunter: "Once they leave the pub, why should it be the pub's problem?"

              Because it is usually in their liquor license to manage patron behaviour near to the venue. Anti-social venues get scrutinised in this regard in residential areas. Complaints can be made to the OLGR.

              • @Some Guy:

                near to the venue.

                No objection to near the venue. More than likely they'd like it to be clean too so it wouldn't put off customers, but when it's away from the truck, it's not his problem.

          • +3

            @Powlie85: Put up you own sign: area under surveillance, littering will be reported to the EPA.

            Start making a scene with some of their customers, place reviews online about the rubbish. Hopefully this is enough for the business to take steps to change. For example they might tell customers that people are being monitored and fined for littering in the area.

          • +2

            @Powlie85: And you think putting a sign up asking people not being idiots will magically make them reasonable people? I don't know in what fairy land you live but it's definitly not Sydney.

            They put up a bin. Every person with an IQ above 80 knows that rubbish goes into a bin. Will make absolutely no difference if you put up a sign. People are just (profanity) lazy.

            You just admitted it that it would take ages for someone to speak to each individual. Should be business owner do that? Do you run a business? I highly doubt it. Otherwise you wouldn't come at them with such unreasonable ideas. Someone further up even suggested to get the council to shut down the business. Great, 5 people lose their jobs. But the poster is not affected so who gives a (profanity). Or the idea to dump the rubbish on their counter? Wtf is wrong with people?

            The problem is human behavior. There is no solution to this problem. Don't try to find one.

            • @liquid metal: It would take me ages because there's a different crowd there every night between 6-12 and I have a life and a family. Also - I don't work there and therefore do not get the chance to speak to them. But even that - telling ecvery single customer when they pick up food to use the bins provided would be weird. All he needs to do is put more bins up and empty them regularly. Then put signs that ask patrons to respect the neighbors - then help us keep the street clean by sending one employee around to pick up only their rubbish.
              That's the course of action for me and if it doesn't work then I'll be coming back to this thread and slowly escalate my way through some of the ideas here ;) let's hope we can reach an understanding. But as I said in my most recent edit of the OP, it looks much cleaner this morning than last Saturday.

      • +1

        The business should have a permit that stipulates how they should control their waste in accordance with local/state regulations. Anything beyond the scope of the permit is out of their control. e.g Customers buys the food, eats it in their vehicle and then dump the waste on the ground when they drive off. This is now an enforcement matter which can only be dealt with by authorised officers under an Act.

        • Issue I have with that is that it doesn't seem very effective. They'll make a visit once a year and fine several people if they actually hang around long enough - a week later it's all back to the same old ways.

  • -1

    in western Sydney suburb - littering has increased dramatically

    how can you tell LMAO

    • +1

      Because I would pick litter up every other day and so would neighbors. And now it's a lot more litter and the street just looks messy every day. Easy to spot new kinds of rubbish. But yeah ok - you're probably trahtalking sydney's west now.

      • I was gonna say, stop picking it up as that indirectly encourages their behaviour.
        The thought being that when the garbage isn't collected, it stacks up, and people would be more conscious to their mess. Alas, in that scenario people genuinely DGAF, and doesn't take long for a pristine area to turn into Delhi.

        • +1

          There are 2 problems. You highlighted one: people genuinely don't care. It partially ties into the second; that the people doing it don't live in that area. Sure, people being forced to live in their own mess might make them unhappy and thus, self-aware about their actions, but if they only show up once every few days just for the food, they aren't forced to endure being around the mess. It's the same reason why it's so common to see garbage at bus shelters. People are willing to put up with being around rubbish for 2 minutes while they wait for the bus for the convenience of not carrying their rubbish.

          • @OzBarAnon: Very true.
            The only place I saw that didn't have this issue is Japan, where people are very empathetic, and are taught life-lessons at very young age.

            Otherwise, it's a Western City where the council is wealthy enough to hire workers for the task AND they have hefty fines for littering. Even then results are mixed.

    • +2

      how can you tell LMAO

      Late night foodies are all grubs out west. Throw rubbish anywhere like it's their own backyard.

  • +21

    I was raised different to this. I don't ever litter - wtf is wrong with people today, such disrespect for their fellow human and the environment of our country.

    • +2

      Around Fitzroy we have some real pigs. They can’t take a couple of steps to put stuff in the bin.

    • Agreed - total disregard for the fact that there are residents - apart of course from so e of that stuff ending up in waterways …

  • +4


    • brickies through food truck window.

    • bikies?

      Are they into garbage collection business now?

      • They take out the trash if that's what you mean.

  • Is the place your talking about at Princes Highway Kogarah?
    I suggest you best get onto the Council. I would gather they have given some form of temporary permission for a food truck to operate on the site.
    Any complaints could sway the Council on any permanent decision.

  • +8

    I know when a Maccas set up shop, inner west council mandated as a condition of their license that they had to have staff clean the surrounds of the area up to 100-150metres radius on a regular basis. This has worked, so I can’t see why it can’t be applied to this situation.

    As mentioned, collect evidence, photos, video footage to present your case.

    Call in the food inspectors to tell them you’ve sighted rats.
    I wouldn’t put up with that sh1t.

    • +1

      Let's just call a government official, lie to them so that other people get in trouble. You don't feel any shame.

      If that business owner needs to employ extra staff to clean the area up to a 150m radius, they might as well shut down. You literally don't seem to have any idea what you're talking about. But it isn't your business and you aren't employing several people, so why give a shit?

      They don't have any issues cleaning the immediate area, and they have agreed to do so.

  • Are you actually seeing people litter (presumably yes) or do you think it’s also the ibises getting into rubbish bags and spreading it around? The other name for ibises is tip turkeys. They make a huge mess pulling rubbish out of dumpsters at a pub nearby us when staff don’t put the lids down, and one of my friends finds rubbish in his house gutters.

    If the owner hasn’t got the rubbish bags in a solid bin with a secure lid, that could be part of the problem too. A flock of ibises could make a huge mess.

    Also, thinking WIIFM for the patrons, signs around the parking lot that say the food truck license is dependent on people not littering may change their behavior if they like the food? I expect you and your neighbours would have to pay for and erect them though. Sounds like the owner wouldn’t have much interest in doing so.

    • +1

      Yeah - I see people litter all the time. The cups are strewn around where people park + so are the little receipts/order slips.
      They do have a bin with a lid but at every collection some of it also ends up on the road - and the don't show up until 5 at which point the winds distributed some of across the street.

      It's on street parking right outside our houses. There are some electricity poles that signs could go up. I'll suggest that to the owner as I think that's still his responsibility. I'll make clear to him that if he doesn't handle it I will - and it won't be to his satisfaction.

    • i think you mean bin chickens

  • +4

    Offer them a deal: You and your neighbours will help keep the area clean in return for free food orders.

    • +8

      Or in exchange for 'protection' and 'insurance'

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