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Litter in the community

The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 provides a strong focus on managing littering and illegal dumping across South Australia. The definition of litter is broad and you must not dispose of any general or hazardous litter onto land or into any waters without permission.

General litter can be defined as any solid or liquid domestic or commercial waste. This list is extensive and includes materials such as; cigarettes or cigarette butts, chewing gum, food scraps, vegetation, soil, food and beverage containers, clothing, furniture, dead or diseased animals, vehicles or vehicle parts, machinery, landscaping materials, building or construction material, waste or equipment.

Hazardous litter includes asbestos, live cigarettes and cigarette butts, used syringes and waste glass.

The legislation also provides a direct liability to the owner of a vehicle involved in littering or illegal dumping. If you witness littering from any vehicle in our community, such as the disposal of cigarette butts or fast food packaging, you can make a citizens notification which can be used as evidence. Please note, if making a report you must be prepared to attend court if required.

When making your report, please have the following information ready:

  • Date and time.
  • Location of where the dumping took place.
  • The amount and description of the waste.
  • Description of the person/people involved.
  • Description of vehicle (e.g. make, model, colour) and registration number.
  • Photos or video of the offending.

The expiation fees for illegally disposing of litter are significant and range from $210 for small items up to $1000 for amounts of over 50 Litres in size. Maximum penalties can range up to $120,000 for an individual or up to $250,000 for a body corporate if set before the courts.

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