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Report litter

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.

Eighty-six per cent of litter fines EPA issues 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 cleanup bill costs the community around $80 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 they dispose of litter incorrectly (such as by throwing it out of a window). Report on the go or register to report litter online.

 

FAQs about litter reporting + Expand all Collapse all

  • What does EPA do about litter from vehicles?

    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 $295 for a small piece of rubbish or unlit cigarette to $590 for a lit cigarette.

  • What types of litter can I report?

    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:

    • cigarette butts
    • food waste (e.g. apple cores)
    • food packaging
    • drink containers.

    Other forms of litter need to be reported to your local council or other relevant agency. This littering includes:

    • installation of posters without consent
    • windblown litter from commercial premises or construction sites.

    Unsolicited advertising material in mailboxes and on parked cars should be reported to the Distributions Standards Board on 1800 676 136.

  • What information do I have to include with my litter reports?

    EPA requires the following information to be able to take action with a litter report:

    • registration number
    • vehicle description (including):
      • make
      • body type (sedan, utility, van etc.)
      • colour
      • model (if possible)
    • where the incident occurred – road, suburb or town
    • when the incident occurred
      • date
      • time (including am or pm)
    • type of litter
      • lit cigarette
      • unlit cigarette
      • food or beverage item
    • description of the person who littered (if possible) – male or female, brown hair, olive skin etc.

    If we don't have all this information, we may not be able to process your report – be sure to report as much important information as you can.

    Be sure to keep your notes after completing the online form in case we need to contact you to clarify the information.

  • Can I report interstate vehicles?

    EPA can only process reports for Victorian-registered motor vehicles.

    VicRoads is in the process of upgrading its registration and licensing system. Once this is complete, EPA will be able to consider taking action on reports of vehicles from other states. We encourage you to continue to report litterers – we couldn’t run the program without your help.

  • How do I report the location of an offence on the Portal?

    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.

  • How long do I have to lodge a report?

    To help us process reports promptly, please submit them within seven days of the offence.

  • What are the fines for throwing litter from a vehicle?

    Fines for throwing litter from a car are:

    Small and large unlit items Burning items

    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.

    $295 $590
  • Can I report litter from a vehicle in a car park?

    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.

  • What does EPA do with the litter reports?

    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.

  • Is there a cost for registering online?

    No, registration is free.

  • I've forgotten my password. How do I access the online reporting system?

    If you included your email with your registration details when you logged in, you can request an email be sent to that address with your login details. If you didn't include an email or it’s no longer current, please contact EPA on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or email contact@epa.vic.gov.au.

  • My contact details have changed. Can I change them on the Portal?

    Once you’ve logged in to the Portal, you can update your contact details or your password in the ‘Account management’ section.

  • Who has access to my details?

    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.

  • Why do I need to register to report litterers and smoky vehicles?

    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.

  • Why doesn’t my existing reporting account work on the Portal?

    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 10 Dec 2014