Litter and illegal dumping
Throwing or dropping litter, even unintentionally, is an offence under the Litter Act 1979.
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.
In Western Australia littering infringements can be issued by authorised officers including police officers, local government rangers and other officers employed by government departments that oversee the protection of the environment and waterways.
Cigarette butt 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.
For a complete list of litter penalties see - WA Litter Fines.
Illegal dumping is a particular type of littering where people go out of their way to dump their rubbish.
It includes waste materials that have been dumped, tipped or otherwise deposited onto land. Illegal dumping varies from small bags of rubbish in an urban environment to larger scale dumping of waste materials in isolated areas, such as bushland.
Report illegal dumping
Report illegal dumping in Western Australia to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation's Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782 (24 hours) or the City's Rangers on 9405 5000 during office hours or 1300 138 393 after hours.
People who witness illegal dumping should if possible, and without placing themselves at risk, take note of the following:
- 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.
Illegal dumping can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 with maximum fines of $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporate bodies (businesses). Under the Litter Act 1979 minor illegal dumping can attract an infringement notice of $500 or $2,000 if taken to court.
Photographic or video evidence will also assist Rangers follow up with any prosecutions that may result from the information. People who report littering or illegal dumping offences can remain anonymous however; to increase the chances of a prosecution it is preferable that these people are available to provide a witness statement.
Keep Australia Beautiful
Visit the Keep Australia Beautiful website to read more about illegal dumping and recent prosecutions.