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70.93.050  <<  70.93.060 >>   70.93.070

RCW 70.93.060

Littering prohibited — Penalties — Litter cleanup restitution payment.

(1) It is a violation of this section to abandon a junk vehicle upon any property. In addition, no person shall throw, drop, deposit, discard, or otherwise dispose of litter upon any public property in the state or upon private property in this state not owned by him or her or in the waters of this state whether from a vehicle or otherwise including but not limited to any public highway, public park, beach, campground, forest land, recreational area, trailer park, highway, road, street, or alley except:

     (a) When the property is designated by the state or its agencies or political subdivisions for the disposal of garbage and refuse, and the person is authorized to use such property for that purpose;

     (b) Into a litter receptacle in a manner that will prevent litter from being carried away or deposited by the elements upon any part of the private or public property or waters.

     (2)(a) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, it is a class 3 civil infraction as provided in RCW 7.80.120 for a person to litter in an amount less than or equal to one cubic foot.

     (b) It is a misdemeanor for a person to litter in an amount greater than one cubic foot but less than one cubic yard. The person shall also pay a litter cleanup restitution payment equal to twice the actual cost of cleanup, or fifty dollars per cubic foot of litter, whichever is greater. The court shall distribute one-half of the restitution payment to the landowner and one-half of the restitution payment to the law enforcement agency investigating the incident. The court may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the cleanup restitution payment, order the person to pick up and remove litter from the property, with prior permission of the legal owner or, in the case of public property, of the agency managing the property. The court may suspend or modify the litter cleanup restitution payment for a first-time offender under this section, if the person cleans up and properly disposes of the litter.

     (c) It is a gross misdemeanor for a person to litter in an amount of one cubic yard or more. The person shall also pay a litter cleanup restitution payment equal to twice the actual cost of cleanup, or one hundred dollars per cubic foot of litter, whichever is greater. The court shall distribute one-half of the restitution payment to the landowner and one-half of the restitution payment to the law enforcement agency investigating the incident. The court may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the cleanup restitution payment, order the person to pick up and remove litter from the property, with prior permission of the legal owner or, in the case of public property, of the agency managing the property. The court may suspend or modify the litter cleanup restitution payment for a first-time offender under this section, if the person cleans up and properly disposes of the litter.

     (d) If a junk vehicle is abandoned in violation of this section, RCW 46.55.230 governs the vehicle's removal, disposal, and sale, and the penalties that may be imposed against the person who abandoned the vehicle.

     (3) If the violation occurs in a state park, the court shall, in addition to any other penalties assessed, order the person to perform twenty-four hours of community restitution in the state park where the violation occurred if the state park has stated an intent to participate as provided in RCW 79A.05.050.

     (4) It is a class 1 civil infraction as provided in RCW 7.80.120 for a person to discard, in violation of this section, potentially dangerous litter in any amount.

[2003 c 337 § 3; 2002 c 175 § 45; 2001 c 139 § 1; 2000 c 154 § 2; 1997 c 159 § 1; 1996 c 263 § 1; 1993 c 292 § 1; 1983 c 277 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 39 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 307 § 6.]

Notes:

     Findings -- 2003 c 337: "(1) The legislature finds that the littering of potentially dangerous products poses a greater danger to the public safety than other classes of litter. Broken glass, human waste, and other dangerous materials along roadways, within parking lots, and on pedestrian, bicycle, and recreation trails elevates the risk to public safety, such as vehicle tire punctures, and the risk to the community volunteers who spend their time gathering and properly disposing of the litter left behind by others. As such, the legislature finds that a higher penalty should be imposed on those who improperly dispose of potentially dangerous products, such as is imposed on those who improperly dispose of tobacco products.

     (2) The legislature further finds that litter is a nuisance, and, in order to alleviate such a nuisance, counties must be provided statutory authority to declare what shall be a nuisance, to abate a nuisance, and to impose and collect fines upon parties who may create, cause, or commit a nuisance." [2003 c 337 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 2002 c 175: See note following RCW 7.80.130.

     Severability -- 2000 c 154: See note following RCW 70.93.030.

Lighted material, etc. -- Receptacles in conveyances: RCW 76.04.455.

Throwing materials on highway prohibited -- Removal: RCW 46.61.645.