According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the single most common litter item in Australia is the cigarette butt. Cigarette butts make up half of the litter in NSW.
Other common litter includes small pieces of paper, chip and confectionery wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, glass pieces, glass alcohol bottles, plastic straws and soft drink bottles.
Littering is an offence. You can be fined if you commit a littering offence. For further information please visit the NSW EPA website (http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au).
Littering from vehicles
Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 it is an offence to deposit litter from a vehicle. There are significant financial penalties for this offence. Council officers have the ability to issue on the spot penalty notices for where littering is observed.
More serious offences such as littering cigarette butts from vehicles during a total fire ban period may attract higher penalty notice amounts.
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
If you see litter being thrown or blown from a vehicle or trailer you can report it here
If you spot illegal dumping in NSW, such as; used household items, old tyres, green waste or construction waste e.g. bricks and timber, you can report it here:
Illegal dumping reported via RIDOnline will be further investigated by council rangers and compliance officers.
If there is an immediate emergency such as toxic fumes or a large chemical spill, call 000 immediately.
For urgent responses
If dumped waste poses an immediate environmental risk contact:
Council for small urgent incidents (under two trailer loads) 1300 445 586
EPA Environment Line on 131 555 for large urgent incidents (over two trailer loads).