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Air quality is important to the health and wellbeing of all Victorians. Most air pollution comes from industry, motor vehicles and domestic wood burning.
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EPA works with the community, businesses and other organisations to protect the environment.
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EPA's public litter reporting service was the first of its kind to be established in Australia. It enables members of the public to report people who throw litter from a Victorian-registered motor vehicle. As a result of this service, more than 20,000 people are reported to EPA every year.
Over 85 per cent of litter reports EPA receives relate to lit and unlit cigarette butts being thrown from vehicles. Food packaging, drink containers and poorly secured rubbish are also among the reports received.
EPA thanks members of the community who take the time to report people who break the law by littering.
The environmental impacts of litter thrown from a vehicle
The effects of litter are widespread. Litter pollutes our environment, including our beaches and rivers – particularly after rain, when it gets flushed into the Yarra and bay or inland rivers.
Litter thrown from a motor vehicle and litter alongside our roads can also pose a great risk to the environment and Victorian communities – particularly if it is a lit cigarette.
Roadside litter costs
The cost of litter has an impact on every Victorian – the annual clean up bill costs the community around $78 million.
Roadside litter laws
Section 45G of the Environment Protection Act 1970 states that a vehicle’s registered owner will be deemed guilty of littering if he/she disposes of litter incorrectly (e.g. throwing it out a window). Download our Report Litter App or register to report litter online.
EPA has the power to issue an infringement or fine to the owner of the registered vehicle if they are seen throwing litter out of a vehicle. EPA verifies the details of each litter report against the VicRoads database, if the details match, an infringement is issued.
Fines range from $282 for a small piece of rubbish or unlit cigarette to $563 for a lit cigarette.
Littering from a vehicle or by a person in close association to their vehicle can be reported to the EPA. For example, if a person drops a cigarette butt on the ground and then gets into a car and drives away, we can act against the vehicle owner. The types of litter you can report are:
Other forms of litter need to be reported to your local council or other relevant agency. This littering includes:
Unsolicited advertising material in mailboxes and on parked cars should be reported to the Distributions Standards Board on 1800 676 136.
EPA requires the following information to be able to take action with a litter report:
If we don't have all this information, we may not be able to process your report.
Be sure to keep your notes after completing the online form in case we need to contact you to clarify the information.
At this stage, EPA can only process reports for Victorian-registered motor vehicles. This is something we may revisit in the future. We encourage you to continue to report litterers – we couldn’t run the program without your help.
There are two ways you can find the location of a litter offence on the Portal.
You can type in the name of the street and suburb and then click on the ‘Search’ button. While you are typing, a list of suggestions will display. You can select one of these or choose to continue typing. Once a location has been selected, the map will then update to show the address you’ve selected.
You can also use the map function to find your location by zooming into the area you want. When you have found the location of the offence, click on the map to put a marker on the map.
If the marker on the map is in the wrong spot, simply click on the correct location to move the marker.
Please check that the ‘Location selected’ box (at the bottom of the map) is correct before proceeding to the next step. Sometimes the location name displayed is not what you may be looking for – generally near intersections. We suggest that you click on a slightly different position on the map to reset the marker and location.
To help us process reports promptly, please submit them within seven days of the offence.
Fines for throwing litter from a car are:
This includes unlit cigarette butts, paper wrappers, fast food packaging, drink containers and cigarette packets.
This includes but isn't limited to items such as lit cigarettes and matches.
Yes. Although a car park may seem to be private property (for example, owned by a shopping centre), litter laws consider car parks as public roadways.
If the vehicle description registered with VicRoads doesn't match the reported description, no further action will be taken. If the details match, in most instances we’ll send an infringement notice to the vehicle's owner.
See the FAQ 'What are the fines for throwing litter from a vehicle?' for the amount of the various fines.
No, registration is free.
Your username for the Portal is your email address.
You can reset your password using the Forgotten password? option on the Portal login screen. An email will be sent to you with instructions on what to do next.
Once you’ve logged in to the Portal, you can update your contact details or your password in the ‘Account management’ section.
EPA values and respects the privacy of our litter reporters. Your personal details are strictly confidential to EPA in accordance with privacy legislation. EPA will not forward or release your details without your consent.
While we need your name and contact details to accept a report, they are not provided to the owner of the vehicle that you have reported; to the person who has littered from a vehicle; or to any other third party. In some cases, the offender may wish to exercise their right to have the matter heard in court and in such an event we’ll contact you because, as part of the court proceedings, you will need to give evidence, thereby identifying yourself.
We need your name, address and contact details in case we need to contact you about the report. You only need to register once. After registering you are a registered EPA pollution reporter. You’ll have immediate access to our reporting pages, saving you time when you next report.
EPA has recently upgraded a number of our systems into one centralised Portal. All active litter and smoky reporting accounts have been migrated from the old system into the Portal.
Unfortunately, this means that if you weren’t an active reporter you may need to re-register for a Portal account.
To register for litter and smoky vehicle reporting, click on the Create account link. If we already have a record of your email address, it means you already have an account. You’ll then be able to reset your password.
Please note that there is a limit of 40 characters in the username field for the Portal. Please contact EPA if you have an email address longer than this length.
Page last updated on 22 May 2013
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State Government of Victoria