Litter is unsightly and can also cause injury to people and wildlife. The build up of litter reduces the appeal of a place and can encourage further littering. Rangers are responsible for enforcing the Litter Act 1979 (as amended) in the City of Busselton.
The following are examples of acts that are considered littering offences, with the accompanying penalties;
- Littering that creates a public risk ($500)
- Litter thrown from a vehicle ($200) - in these cases, the person responsible for the vehicle will be deemed to have committed the offence where neither the litterer nor the driver of the vehicle can be identified
- Littering in a public place ($200)
- Dumping rubbish in reserves or vacant land ($200)
- Depositing domestic or commercial waste in a public bin ($200)
- Items escaping from an unsecured load ($200)
- Posting publicity material in a public place or on a vehicle without the permission of the owner ($200)
- Abandoning shopping trolleys ($200)
- Lit cigarette butt disposal ($500)
A maximum penalty of $5,000 (for individuals) and $10,000 (for corporations) may be imposed for littering offences.
Cigarette butt litter
Cigarette butts have become a significant littering issue, particularly as people are asked to smoke outside. On average Keep Australia Beautiful Council (WA) issues nearly 90 fines a week for cigarette butt littering through its litter reporter scheme, which accounts for nearly 95% of all fines issued by the Council. The careless disposal of a lit cigarette or cigarette butt is considered to be creating a public risk.
Litter reporters are able to report someone throwing or dumping litter from a car by taking note of key details of the offence and offender and passing the information on to the Keep Australia Beautiful Council, who will issue the offender with a fine on completion of a full report.
To register as a litter reporter, call the Keep Australia Beautiful Council on (08) 6467 5129.
Did you know?
- About 24 billion cigarettes are sold in Australia each year
- It is estimated that 7 billion of these cigarettes are littered
- Almost 50% of all litter in urban areas is composed of tobacco-related products including foil inserts, wrappings and butts
- Cigarette butts can take up to five years to break down in salt water
- Lit butts thrown into bushland may cause grass and bushfires