Smoking can be expensive, but littering can be worse

A Ferntree Gully woman has been ordered to pay hundreds of dollars in costs after dropping a lit cigarette from a car at Boronia.

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) charged the woman after she was reported by a member of the public for littering in Boronia Village car park.

The Ringwood court placed the woman on a good behaviour bond and ordered her to pay $753 in legal costs to EPA.

The woman is the third person to pay hundreds of dollars over dropped cigarette butts in the past two months.

A Wantirna man paid $1,000 as a fine and costs for dropping a cigarette beside a road at Scoresby, and a Dandenong North man paid $200 each for two cigarettes he dropped in a street in Windsor.

EPA receives 20,000 reports of littering each year and works closely with government, industry and the community to use intelligence and surveillance to target offenders.

EPA’s Director, Regulatory Programs, Dan Hunt, says it’s often members of the community who report littering.

“Victorians don’t like litter, and as many offenders are discovering it can cost you a lot more than the little bit of effort it takes to do the right thing,” Mr Hunt said.

“Put out the cigarette and put it in a bin, or take it with you.”

Members of the public can report pollution by calling EPA’s 24 hour hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Discarded cigarette butts pollute Victoria’s roadsides, many find their way into nearby waterways, and any burning cigarette butt creates a fire hazard.

In each of the three recent court cases, the witness who reported the littering offered to provide evidence in court if it was required.

EPA issued more than 13,000 infringement notices for littering, last financial year.

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