Transport Canberra and City Services


Littering of any kind is illegal under the Litter Act 2004. Once one person dumps rubbish, others may think it's okay to do the same – but it's not!

Report littering online.

Types of littering offences

You can be fined for:

  • littering in or on a public place, including cigarette butts
  • depositing of litter that is likely to cause an injury to persons or damage to property in or on a public place
  • transporting refuse or waste and failing to arrange, contain, fasten or cover it so as to prevent any part of the load from falling or being blown from the vehicle
  • depositing of commercial and garden waste in or on a public place
  • failing to take reasonable steps to prevent litter from your commercial premises being deposited in or on a public place
  • depositing or abandoning a dangerous container in a public place or public tip
  • placing advertising leaflets in or on a motor vehicle in a public place.


The penalty for littering varies depending on the offence:

  • Basic littering: $1,000 for individuals and/or $5,000 for businesses.
  • Aggravated littering that could cause injury to person, animal or public place: $5,000 for individuals and/or $25,000 for businesses, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.
  • Dumping of illegal substances under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004: up to $200,000 for individuals and/or $1 million dollars for businesses and/or 7 years imprisonment and the possibility of other penalties.
  • Littering cigarette butts could lead to a $60 on the spot fine.
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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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