Whitehorse City Council

Litter & Dumped Rubbish

Litter is the most visible sign of pollution. It is anything that is left where it is not meant to be. Litter is unsightly and dangerous. It can cause injury to people and wildlife. It encourages pest animals such as rats, mice and seagulls as well as the spread of germs and disease.

Litter includes cigarette butts, dog litter, general litter, hard rubbish, dumped rubbish and over-filled rubbish bins. It is an apple carelessly thrown out of the car window, a load that hasn't been secured properly on the back of a trailer, and the grass clippings that you sweep into the gutter.

Littering is a serious offence and heavy fines may be issued to offenders under the Environment Protection Act 1970. Council's Community Law Officers are authorised to issue fines on the spot to offenders.

Below is a list of some of the littering problems facing the community today and what you can do to help reduce the problem. 

Dumped Rubbish

Dumping rubbish – old furniture, electronic items and other household waste – on the footpath or other public land is illegal. It is also unattractive and can make people living nearby feel that the area is unsafe and dirty. Council may issue people found responsible for dumping rubbish with fines.

Cigarette Butts

Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter and it is not unusual to see huge numbers of butts outside office buildings and at public transport stops. Many councils have installed special bins for butts around local areas and at public transport stops. Contact the building manager about installing and emptying these bins outside the building where you work. 

Carrying a personal ashtray is a good way of avoiding littering when bins are not available. Personal ashtrays are available from Eco Safe Ash Trays on 03 9459 1475 and from many tobacconists.


Advertising Material

Advertising material must be distributed according to the law. At home, all mail deliveries should be left either under the door or in a letterbox.

If your letterbox has a 'no junk mail' label (or equivalent), junk mail should not be placed in it. Unwanted advertising material should be reported to the Distributions Standards Board on 1800 676 136.

Bill Posters

Councils can spend more than $100,000 per annum cleaning up after illegally posted bills. It is an offence to post bills without the permission of the property owner under the Environment Protection Act 1970. Offenders, including those who instruct others to put up bills illegally, can be fined.

Throwing Litter From a Vehicle

Where litter is thrown or dropped from a motor vehicle, the Environment Protection Act 1970 deems the driver of the vehicle, the registered owner of the vehicle and any person authorised by the registered owner to use the vehicle at that time to be guilty of the offence of depositing litter.

Visit the Environment Protection Authority website for further details of how you can report someone for littering from a motor vehicle (this will open a new browser window).

Builder's Rubbish

Rubbish being left on nature strips outside building sites is prohibited in the City of Whitehorse. Section 29.2.5 of Council's Community Local Law No 1 2006 states a person in charge of building work must store all waste on the building site. Click here to view Councils' Community Local Law No 1 2006.

Rubbish Left on Nature Strips

Council has several laws relating to rubbish, whether it is normal household rubbish or hard rubbish, being left on nature strips. Council supplied garbage bins should not be left outside a premise for more than one day before or after a collection day. 

In addition, hard garbage should not be left on the nature strip or footpath at the front of the premises for more than seven days before the collection day.