Litter and illegal dumping
Throwing or dropping litter, even unintentionally, is an offence under the Litter Act 1979
Litter is any general waste that is discarded in an open or public place. Litter can be:
- Rubbish thrown or blown from a moving vehicle or dropped by pedestrians
- Building and household rubbish or green waste placed on street verges
- Placing advertising materials on vehicle windscreens
- Dumped shopping trolleys
- Improperly disposing of used syringes
Littering carries substantial fines for both individuals and companies.
Illegal dumping is a particular type of littering where people go out of their way to dump their rubbish.
Illegal dumping includes:
- Rubbish dumped at the side of a road
- Items left on your verge outside of collection times
- Waste materials that have been dumped, tipped or otherwise deposited onto land
- Disused vehicles left in a public place
Illegal dumping varies from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to larger scale dumping of unwanted household, commercial or industrial waste in isolated areas, such as bushland.
Dumping rubbish of any kind on any land not specified as a waste facility is also considered littering and attracts the same penalties under the Litter Act 1979.
How to prevent litter
Here are some ways you can help to prevent litter:
- Please use bins on streets and parks throughout the City;
- If you smoke, please make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and then placed in a bin, not left on the ground;
- Teach children about the importance of reducing litter and placing all litter, such as food packaging, into a bin at parks and playgrounds – or take it home with you to dispose of in your own bin;
- Secure any loose items which could be blown from your car when it is moving;
- Make sure there are no loose items which could be blown away from your verge side collection bin;
- Use the range of recycling and disposal services available in the City for waste management.
How to report litter and illegal dumping
To report illegal dumping in the City of Belmont, you can:
If you witness illegal dumping taking place, if possible, and without placing yourself at risk, try to note the:
Date, time and place the offence was committed;
Description of the offender;
Vehicle make, model, colour and registration;
Type of litter or nature of the illegal dumping.
Photographic or video evidence could also help Rangers follow up with any prosecutions that may result from the report. You can report littering or illegal dumping offences and remain anonymous, but being available for a witness statement could increase the chances of a prosecution.
Penalties for littering
In WA littering infringements can be issued by authorised officers including police officers, local government rangers and other officers employed the government to oversee the protection of the environment and waterways.
Littering fines are $200 for individuals and $500 for corporations (businesses). Fines for some offences are $500 for individuals and $2,000 for corporations.
If taken to court, maximum penalties for littering offences are $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for corporations, or in the case of offences against the litter regulations, $5,000 for both individuals and corporations.
In cases of littering from vehicles, where neither the litterer nor the driver of the vehicle can be identified, the person responsible for the vehicle (usually the registered owner) will be deemed to have committed the offence and will have to pay the fine unless they can identify the offender.
Illegal dumping can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 with maximum fines of $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporations. Under the Litter Act 1979 minor illegal dumping can attract an infringement notice of $500 or $2,000 if taken to court.