(Photos courtesy of DERM)
Littering and dumping have been illegal for ages – but fining those anti-social few that persist in making their waste everyone else’s problem has depended on the offence being witnessed by an ‘authorised officer’.
Now, changes to the legislation mean that everyone can report online anyone seen littering, or dumping waste from a vehicle, trailer or vessel. This includes people who drop litter as they get into or out of a vehicle. It also includes those who allow waste to fly off a vehicle, trailer or vessel.
Feel uncomfortable about being a ‘dobber’?
Litter and dumped waste pollute waterways and aquatic habitats; are often mistaken for food by animals and marine life – blocking their digestive tracts and killing them painfully and slowly; can entangle aquatic animals and birds; can block waterways and stormwater drains, increasing the likelihood of flooding and erosion; attract rodents, insects and other vermin that pose a health risk; increase the risk of fire; and reduce the aesthetic appeal of public places.
Penalties for individuals include $300 for throwing, for example, a drink container, food wrapper or bus ticket from a vehicle, trailer or vessel. The fine rises to $400 if what is thrown is dangerous, such as broken glass or a lit cigarette. Fines for dumping (including of garden waste) range from $400 to $1650 for individuals, according to the amount dumped. These fines multiply tenfold if the alleged offence is unsuccessfully contested in court.
Click here for more information on waste management in Queensland.
And do the right thing!