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Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Tosser Blitz

Woman throwing a cigarette but out of a car window

Don’t want to get fined? Don’t be a tosser, put it in the bin.

Litter affects everyone in NSW and is one of our state's most unnecessary and preventable environmental problems.

The EPA's Litter Prevention Strategy brings together proven actions across five pillars to change behaviour, reduce litter and encourage people to 'Put your rubbish in the bin' or 'Take your rubbish with you'.

  • Education and awareness
  • Infrastructure
  • Regulation and enforcement
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Reward and recognition

Litter enforcement campaigns, including Tosser Blitz, are important actions within the regulation and enforcement pillar, designed to deter people from littering by increasing the likelihood of being seen, reported and fined.

What is a Tosser Blitz?

A Tosser Blitz is a large-scale, coordinated campaign of state and local government authorities coming together for a set period to enforce littering laws across NSW. Although a Tosser Blitz only occurs at specific times during the year, fines for littering are issued year round by NSW Police Officers, Council Rangers and the EPA.

What is the objective of a Tosser Blitz?

Research shows there is a low awareness that fines can be issued for littering and a low belief that fines will be issued for littering. The objective of a Tosser Blitz is to raise the awareness of litter laws and provide a reminder that anyone can get fined for littering anywhere and at any time – this helps deliver positive behaviour change and litter reduction.

Why is a Tosser Blitz important?

A Tosser Blitz is important because each year over 25,000 tonnes of litter is tossed in NSW. Litter damages our natural environments, harms wildlife and sea creatures, can injure people and makes our spaces less safe. Litter is also very costly. More than $180 million a year is spent managing litter in NSW; money that could be much better spent on other vital public services. Our community cares too. In an independent research study it highlighted that 83% of residents feel the NSW Government should be addressing the issue of littering.

Who is involved in a Tosser Blitz?

A Tosser Blitz involves substantial collaboration with the EPA and others in the NSW community including local councils, NSW Police, the Roads and Maritime Service, Transport for NSW, Service NSW, Woolworths and McDonalds. These partners all employ different tools and tactics to discourage people from littering.

In addition, there are also more than 24,000 people across NSW who are registered and ready to Report Tossers littering from vehicles through 'Report to EPA'.

How do you decide when and where to run a Tosser Blitz?

Litter enforcement campaigns and Tosser Blitzs are planned to maximise the reach and impact of the anti-litter message and can occur at any time of the year.

How much are fines for littering?

On-the-spot fines of $80 can be issued for littering in public places. The fine for littering from a motor vehicle is $500 if the vehicle is owned by a corporation or $250 if the vehicle is owned by an individual.

Who can issue fines for littering?

NSW Police Officers, Council Rangers and Authorised officers from the EPA can all issue face-to-face fines and fines for littering from a vehicle. The EPA can also issue fines for littering from a vehicle based on reports from members of the public. More information>

How can I avoid getting a fine?

Don't be a tosser. Put your rubbish in the bin or take your rubbish with you.

There isn't a bin. What else am I meant to do with my rubbish?

Take your rubbish with you. There is no excuse for littering. A bin is likely to only be a short distance away. Carry a bag with you to safely transport and dispose of your rubbish.

Are litter enforcement campaigns effective?

Yes. The evidence shows that the integrated approach, including enforcement, education and better infrastructure in projects across the State, is beginning to make a real difference. From 2013 to 2015, NSW reduced its litter volume by 19% and littered items by 18%. It is a Premier's Priority to reduce litter volume by 40% by 2020.

How do you measure the success of enforcement campaigns?

The success of littering enforcement campaigns is measured by changes in the attitudes and behaviours of people to littering, and is monitored through regular independent research.

The most recent independent research found that only 22% of the community think they be caught for littering.

What is 'Report to EPA'?

In February 2015, the EPA established 'Report to EPA' for littering from motor vehicles to allow members of the public to report. The EPA can issue penalty notices for littering from a vehicle based on reports from members of the public. If you see someone littering from a vehicle, you can report them and a fine of $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation can be issued.

To report littering from a vehicle online you need to:

  • have actually seen the litter being thrown, or blown, from the vehicle
  • be able to provide the vehicle registration details and the location where the littering took place
  • report the incident within 14 days
  • make your report on the EPA website
  • be willing to attend court as a witness, if required.

Register now

Can I help with the Tosser Blitz?

Yes. The best way to get involved in the Tosser Blitz is to register with the EPA to Report Tossers littering from vehicles. The NSW EPA can issue fines of $250 for an individual and $500 for a corporation for littering from a vehicle, based on reports from members of the public. Register now

What else can I do to prevent litter?

It's easy to prevent litter every day:

  • put your rubbish in a bin
  • take your rubbish with you if no bin is available
  • keep a bag in the car to collect rubbish
  • put your cigarette butt in a butt bin, or ordinary litter bin when extinguished
  • keep a container in the car to collect cigarette butts.

You can also:

Page last updated: 05 July 2017