Put simply, litter is a crime. In 2006 the Georgia
General Assembly passed a new law known as the Comprehensive
Litter Prevention and Abatement Act of 2006. The act improves
the ability of law enforcement to punish litter offenders;
clarifies complicated statutes related to litter; and stresses
personal responsibility as an overarching principle.
Below are some additional provisions of the Comprehensive Litter Prevention and Abatement Act of 2006:
- The act specifies penalties for littering by type of litter. Anyone caught littering in Georgia can be ordered to pay a fine of as much as $1,000 or more. Convicted litterers can also be ordered to clean up a littered area in a community.
- The act holds the driver responsible for litter leaving a vehicle.
- It is illegal to place any poster, sign or advertisement in the public right-of-way or on any public property unless authorized. Violators are guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Illegally dumping more than 500 pounds is considered a misdemeanor on the first offense. A second conviction is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years (or both).
- Public authorities and agencies are directed to establish and maintain litter receptacles at appropriate locations on state properties frequented by the public.
Why worry about litter? It has been identified as a
major indicator of neighborhood decline. Litter creates
the impression that no one cares, which results in more
littering, vandalism and even more serious crimes.
Enforcement plays an important role in stopping litter:
- Education reduces, but doesn't eliminate littering
- Enforcement, over the long-term, is cost-effective
- Investigation of litter violations can lead to the discovery and prosecution of bigger crimes
- The public wants and expects enforcement
Review our enforcement training materials to learn more about the new litter law and to provide local enforcement officials with the information they need to take action.Register for an upcoming litter enforcement official workshop