Litter Laws

The Law on Litter

Littering in Western Australia is an offence under the Litter Act 1979,(the Act) Western Australia's principal litter legislation and fines for littering are defined by the Litter Regulations 1981.  The Act contains provisions for the:

  • Establishment and membership of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council
  • Prevention of litter
  • Enforcement, proceedings and penalties
  • Regulations and rules.

The Act authorises Keep Australia Beautiful Council (as part of the Department of Environment Regulation), local government, police and other litter enforcement agencies to take action against those who litter. This action can be in the form of 'on-the-spot fines', or as reports to the KABC which are followed up by fines being sent to the offenders.

Not paying your fine can lead to court action or result in your fine being sent to the Fines Enforcement Registry which has the power to withdraw licences until the fine is paid.

Have some questions about a litter infringement?  Link to FAQs.

What is littering?

Littering occurs where a person deposits any unwanted item or material on land or water. Litter Act 1979 and Litter Regulations 1981
 

Fines for littering 

Offence Penalty- Individual  Penalty- Corporation 
Littering – cigarette butt $200 $500
Littering- general $200 $500
Bill Posting $200 $500
Bill posting on a vehicle $200 $500
Depositing domestic or commercial waste in a public receptacle $200 $500
Transporting load inadequately secured $200 N/A
Littering that creates a public risk *** $500 $2000

***Examples include: Breaking glass, metal or earthenware , littering of car bodies and car parts, batteries, hazardous chemicals or medicines, fridges and freezers with doors attached, tyres, lit cigarettes and syringes.

The maximum penalties for littering offences is $5000 for individuals and $10,000 for corporations, or in the case of offences against the litter regulations, $5000 for both individuals and corporations.

Littering and illegal dumping of a more significant nature may be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, carrying a maximum penalty of $62,500 (individuals) and $125,000 (corporate bodies). More information on illegal dumping available at www.der.wa.gov.au.

Information for vehicle owners

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.

Hazardous Litter

“Littering that creates a public risk’ attracts an infringement penalty of $500 for individuals and $2 000 for corporations. Examples include (but is not limited to) the littering of car bodies and car parts, batteries, hazardous chemicals or medicines, fridges and freezers with doors attached, tyres, lit cigarettes and syringes. 

How can I be fined for littering?

In Western Australia littering infringements can be issued by authorised officers that include: police officers, local government rangers and other officers employed by government departments that oversee the protection of the environment and waterways.

The Keep Australia Beautiful Council, through the Litter Report Scheme, issues infringements in response to litter reports from community members who are registered litter reporters.  This scheme uses reports of littering from vehicles (cars and boats only).

More on the Litter Report Scheme.