What is the law in relation to Litter?

Under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997-2009, each Local Authority is given responsibilities regarding litter prevention and control in its functional area.  These Acts also outline your responsibilities regarding litter.  An on-the-spot fine of €150 can be issued for any breaches of these Acts, or a fine of €3,000 may be imposed if legal proceedings are initiated against you.

You are breaking the law when:

  • You create litter in a public place.
  • You present your household waste for collection in a manner that creates litter.
  • You own or occupy land visible from a public place and you fail to keep it litter free.
  • You burn any materials on your lands including household waste, hedge clippings, tree branches, etc.
  • You own or occupy land within a speed limit area and fail to keep footpaths, pavements or grass verges along the road in front of your property litter free.
  • You own, hire or drive a vehicle and litter is dropped from it.
  • You place household waste into a street litter bin.
  • You own or hire a skip and fail to take measures to prevent litter generation.
  • You fail to clean up after your dog in public areas.
  • You place advertising flyers or notices on vehicles.
  • You place unauthorised notices or advertisements on structures such as poles, trees, etc. visible from a public place.

In addition to the above offences, as a business owner you are breaking the law when:

  • You create litter due to a business activity, and/or associated with loading, transporting or handling of goods.
  • You present your commercial waste for collection in a manner which creates litter.
  • You dispose of any waste materials by burning.
  • You operate a mobile outlet and fail to provide a litter bin or fail to collect /dispose of litter resulting from your activity.