Donnybrook rangers on the lookout as litter fines are increased

LITTERERS will be hit with significantly increased on-the-spot fines after new laws took effect last week.

A new category of offence, "littering that creates a public risk", has been created.

This covers the inappropriate disp osal of animal carcases, pills, capsules, tablets, hazardous containers of any kind, syringes, broken glass, chemicals and lit cigarette butts.

The individual penalty for littering that creates a public risk will be $500, and the penalty for a body corporate is $2000.

The discarding of unlit cigarette butts will incur a $200 on-the-spot fine, up from $75.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said changes to litter regulations, formally gazetted last week, reinforced the State Government's zero-tolerance policy on potentially dangerous littering behaviour.

"The government is determined to stamp out littering and the new penalties will provide an added deterrent," he said.

The minister said littering fines could be issued by a range of authorised officers, including police and rangers, and so the chance of being caught was high.

"In addition, the Keep Australia Beautiful Council issues infringements in response to litter reports from more than 6500 registered community litter reporters," he said.

Donnybrook-Balingup Shire ranger Bob Jeffreys said it had not been acceptable for quite some time to drop cigarettes and rubbish. 

"Changing attitudes is the bottom line," he said.

"Not only are cigarette butts unsightly on the pavement, but also if they have been discarded and they're still smouldering, it's a known fact they start fires.

"This is a good opportunity for people to carefully consider and change some of their habits."

Mr Jeffreys said it was socially irresponsible to dispose of rubbish anywhere except in a rubbish receptacle or authorised rubbish disposal site.

"It is not acceptable to dump rubbish outside of tips or in bushland areas," he said.

"Heavy fines apply."

Donnybrook-Balingup Shire rangers patrol areas where known rubbish dumping occurs.

Ranger Bob Jeffreys surveys dumped animal carcasses on Goodwood Road Donnybrook.

Ranger Bob Jeffreys surveys dumped animal carcasses on Goodwood Road Donnybrook.