Litter and the Law


Dropping or leaving litter in a public place is an offence, which is subject to minimum on the spot fine of €150 or a maximum fine in court of €3000. Additionally, a person convicted of a litter offence may be required to pay the Local Authority's costs and expenses for investigation, prosecution and clean up. Any object small or large disposed of without due care can result in a litter fine. It should be noted that litter offences include inappropriate disposal of items at bottle bank facilities or in the vicinity of public bins

Private property

It is the duty of all property owners or occupier to keep any area visible from a public place free of litter. This extends beyond and includes litter generated by the occupiers of the property. If litter accumulates on a property for whatever reason the Local Authority can issue a notice to the owner or occupier requiring the prompt removal of the litter.

Illegal Dumping and Fly Tipping

Where the identity of an owner is established in any dumping incident, regardless of whether they were caught in the act, proceeding will be taken against the owner of the waste. It is the duty of the owner of the waste to ensure correct disposal of waste.

This can be done either by bringing it to an authorised waste disposal facility and disposing of it correctly in the facility or by availing of a waste collection service with valid waste permit for the type of waste. Householders and businesses have received fines or prosecution as a result of using bogus collectors.

The Local Authority can require a householder or business operator to indicate how and where they are disposing of their waste. If you see someone dumping waste please report the matter to your Local Authority who will investigate and take any necessary enforcement action.

Public Places

The owner or person responsible for a public place is obliged to keep it litter free, regardless of the source of litter. This covers any type of public area including a school campus, a public park, train or bus stations, service station forecourts, retail facilities, public houses, food outlets, public services and shopping centres.

Dog Fouling

Dog owners are required by law to remove their pets waste from public places and dispose of it in a proper manner. This includes any public road or footpath, school or sports ground, beaches, recreational area and the immediate surroundings of another persons house. Contact your Local Authority for details of where pooper scooper bags can be purchased.

Mobile Food Outlets

Operators of mobile food and beverage outlets or outlets selling produce are required to provide suitable litter bins in the vicinity of their outlets. Also they must clean-up any litter arising from the operation of their outlets within a radius of 100 metres of their outlet.

Major Events

The organisers or promoters of an event are required to ensure that they have litter control measures in place at the venue and in the surrounding vicinity before, during and after the event. This applies to sporting events, social events, festivals and shows at which large crowds are expected to attend.

Posters and Signs

It is against the law to put up posters or signs on poles or structures in public places unless you have the written permission of the owner in advance.

A person shall not erect, construct, place or maintain:

  • a vending machine,
  • a town or landscape map for indicating directions or places,
  • a hoarding, fence or scaffold,
  • an advertisement structure,
  • a cable, wire or pipeline,
  • a telephone kiosk or pedestal or
  • any other appliance, apparatus or structure, which may be prescribed as requiring a licence under this section, on, under, over or along a public road save in accordance with a licence granted by a planning authority.

Advertising Flyers

The placing of advertising leaflets on car windscreens is prohibited and subject to litter fines.