Litter and Illegal Rubbish Dumping
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Litter is the presence of items and materials where they are not meant to be.
Litter in our streets, parks, waterways and beaches is a huge problem, both for the environment and for the health and safety of the community. Many littered items take a very long time to break down - so many of the items you use today will still be around long after you are gone.
In 2004 the Beverage Industry Environment Council did research on why people litter. Some of its findings are:
- Young people are more likely to litter when they are in a group
- Older people are more likely to litter when they are alone
- Men litter more than women
- Smokers will often litter their cigarette butts rather than use a bin
- Common reasons for littering are “too lazy”, “no ashtray” and “no bin”
Visit the Victorian Litter Action Alliance website for the full report and for more information about littering.
Cigarette Butt Litter
Cigarette butt litter is a significant problem.
Many smokers don’t identify cigarette butts as litter and have no idea of the environmental damage they cause. Cigarette butts are made from plastic, and not cotton, wool or paper as commonly thought. They contain more than 4000 chemicals, including carcinogens (Victorian Litter Alliance, 2014). Cigarette butts thrown carelessly on the street get washed out to the Bay, releasing toxic chemicals into the water. Littered cigarette butts are also a health risk for young children, who are known to ingest butts that they find.
There are a number of public ashtrays around the municipality, and smokers can also use small personal cigarette butt canisters (portable ashtrays) for the safe disposal of their cigarette butts.
If you are a smoker, please make sure you bin your butt.
Dog poo contains a number of different diseases that are harmful to humans. When we don't pick up after our dogs, their faeces can end up in fields and playgrounds where our children play, trails where we take nature walks, and beaches where our families and friends swim. It is then washed into stormwater drains and into our streams, rivers, beaches and even into groundwater. Droppings deposited far from a stream can still end up in our waterways.
Frankston City dog owners must pick up after their animals - Community Local Law 2020 4.8.
Be a responsible pet owner, carry a bag and pick up after your pooch.
If you see someone littering, please contact Frankston City Council, phone 1300 322 322. The Council has officers authorised under the Environment Protection Act (1970) to investigate dumped litter. Your call can be treated confidentially.
Alternatively, report litter to the 24-hour EPA pollution hotline 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or report online via the EPA Victoria website or their mobile phone app.
All reports should outline:
- Location of the litter
- Date and time where the littering occurred
Fines for littering
Small items of litter (e.g. an extinguished cigarette) - $155 + 1 penalty unit
Burning litter (e.g. a lit cigarette) - $622 + 4 penalty units
- If this occurs during a declared fire danger period it is classed as aggravated littering and the matter will be heard in the Magistrates Court.
Other litter (e.g. a bag of litter) - $311 + 2 penalty units
The fines raised from convicted littering offences support environmentally beneficial projects.
Dumping Rubbish is a Crime
Dumped rubbish includes household waste, green waste, building materials, household materials and other types of materials that have not been disposed of appropriately. It also includes property left on nature strips and unoccupied properties, and matter dumped down stormwater drains.
The Impacts of Illegal Rubbish Dumping
- Dumping rubbish costs you money and reduces property values
Every year Council spends hundreds of thousands of ratepayers' money to clean up illegally dumped rubbish. Even more money is spent on fixing infrastructure and natural areas impacted by dumping. Dump sites can also lower property values.
- Dumping rubbish harms the environment
Illegal rubbish dumping causes chemical and physical pollution in our neighbourhoods and waterways. It can block stormwater drains, be a breeding ground for insects and spread unwanted pests and diseases.
- Dumping rubbish increases health and safety risks
Risks include sharp objects, asbestos, toxic substances, nappies and medical waste. There is also a serious threat of children suffocating in refrigerators that still have doors attached.
- Dumping rubbish can be a fire hazard
Dumping green waste, tyres, chemicals and other flammable items can increase the risk of bush fires.
- Illegally dumped rubbish is bad for the community
Dumped rubbish is unsightly and serves as a magnet for additional dumping and other criminal activities such as graffiti, bill posting and anti-social behaviour. It can also reduce perceived safety and compromise Frankston City’s welcoming image.
Fines and Enforcement
- If you are issued a removal notice and do not comply, you could receive a penalty of more than $1,866.
- A notice may also be issued to builders or property owners of sites where building works are taking place. Failure to follow the notice will result in a penalty of more than $1,555.
- Your landlord, real estate agent or owners corporation can be requested by law to provide your details, even after you leave a property. That means that any rubbish you leave behind can be tracked back to you. Leaving your unwanted goods behind can result in your bond being used to cover the disposal costs of your items, as well as a negative tenancy reference.
- The owner or manager of a property can be held responsible for any litter or rubbish left at the property, if the items cannot be traced back to the offender.
What Council is doing
Frankston City Council is cracking down on littering and illegal dumping. CCTV cameras are installed at illegal dumping hotspots and Council is serious about tracking down offenders. All dumped rubbish WILL be investigated, and anyone found responsible will be asked to clean up their litter and / or face fines.
Remember - illegal dumpers are costing YOU money - don't let them get away with it!
Report Illegally Dumped Rubbish
You can report illegally dumped rubbish to Council online.
Council officers are authorised under the Environment Protection Act (1970) to investigate illegally dumped rubbish. Your call can be treated confidentially.
Alternatively, if you witness somebody illegally dumping their rubbish, you can report it online to the EPA or phone the 24-hour EPA pollution hotline on 1300 372 842.
If it is your rubbish, it is your responsibility.
Alternative Disposal Options
There are a number of ways you can dispose of your unwanted goods and rubbish appropriately:
- Detox your home mobile chemical collection
Many household chemicals can be disposed of at a Detox your Home mobile chemical collection. Collection dates and times and a list of accepted items can be found on the Sustainability Victoria Website
- Donate to charity
Many quality goods such as furniture, clothing, books and homewares can be donated to charity.
- Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery Centre (FRRRC)
A wide range of materials can be dropped off at the Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery Centre (FRRRC) - a discounted charge for hard waste applies to Frankston City residents. Visit the FRRRC page for more information.
- Hard waste and green waste collections
Visit the Hard Waste and Bin Information pages for information.
- Council’s A - Z Waste and Recycling Directory
This directory lists comprehensive information on where to dispose of your unwanted goods appropriately.
Frankston City Council
30 Davey Street
P. 1300 322 322
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