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Public reporting puts litterbugs on notice

Monday, 19th January, 2015

The public will be able to report littering from vehicles from next month. The public will be able to report littering from vehicles from next month.

Locals will be able to dob in people who litter from their vehicles from next month - but they may need proof of the wrongdoing.

NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said reports from the public of littering from cars, trailers and trucks can result in a fine under the new system.

Government research found littering from vehicles is a major problem, with cigarette butts making up more than 90 per cent of litter reported from vehicles.

“This research also shows people are less likely to litter if someone’s watching,” said Mr Stokes, who added litterbugs will think twice if anyone in the street can report them for a fine.

But people who dob them in may need to provide evidence in court.

Reports also need to be made within 14 days of the incident and must include car registration and description, date, time, location and the item where possible.

The new reporting system will be up and running from February 1, and fines will be issued for offences from March 1.

Motorists have also been advised not to use mobile phones illegally, or act dangerously to catch someone in the act. 

Fines for littering from a vehicle range from $250 for an individual, $500 for a corporation, to $900 for aggravated littering such as lit cigarette butts during extreme conditions. 

Mr åStokes said the fact thousands of people reported littering from vehicles to the EPA each year indicated there was a low tolerance for littering.

“We want people to know that, if they litter from a vehicle, they run the risk of being seen, being reported and facing a hefty penalty.”

Reports must be made using either the new portal on the EPA website or the upgraded Report to EPA mobile app downloadable at  http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/litter/from-vehicle.htm from February 1.

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