Reporting litter from vehicles
Roadside litter is one of the most unnecessary and preventable environmental problems. By reporting littering from motor vehicles, you can help raise awareness, reduce cleanup costs and keep NSW clean.
For a complete vehicle-litter report, you will be required to provide the following information:
- Your contact details
You must provide your name and phone number when making a report, but these details will never be passed on to the owner of the vehicle.
- Vehicle registration plate details
The vehicle registration number and state of registration helps us locate the registered owner of the vehicle. Vehicles registered in NSW, ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria can be reported.
- Description of the vehicle
Details about the vehicle such as make, model, colour and type of vehicle help us confirm if the vehicle has been correctly identified.
Provide the street and suburb where the littering vehicle was seen.
- Date and time
The date and time the vehicle was observed must be included in the report. Reports must be submitted within 14 days of observing litter from a vehicle.
- Details about the litter
Please note what type of litter was ejected, where it was ejected from, how it was ejected and by whom.
You must only submit a littering report when you observe the act of littering from a vehicle. Seeing litter next to a vehicle and assuming that it came from that vehicle is not sufficient for a valid report.
Your health and safety are always more important than reporting litter discarded from a vehicle. If you are driving, ask a passenger to record the details.
If recording the correct details affects your concentration or driving, wait until next time to report litter from a vehicle. If the occupants of a vehicle are littering, it is only a matter of time before it is observed and reported by another member of the public, the police or an authorised officer.
After the report
The EPA will attempt to match the vehicle description provided in the report with the registration details. If the observed vehicle’s details are matched with a vehicle registration, the EPA will issue an advisory letter to the registered vehicle owner. The letter advises of the environmental impacts and the penalties associated with littering.
Legislation and enforcement
Littering from motor vehicles is covered under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act). A vehicle owner is deemed liable for littering unless they provide a statutory declaration stating the details of the person in charge of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence (sections 145-146).
Local councils and certain other public authorities have the power to issue penalty notices for littering, as well as the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The fine is $200 (individuals) or $400 (corporations), irrespective of the type of litter deposited.
More information about litter laws
Frequently asked questions
View all FAQs about reporting litter from a vehicle
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Page last updated: 07 November 2012