70A.200.050  <<  70A.200.060 >>   70A.200.070

Littering prohibitedPenaltiesLitter cleanup restitution payment.

(1) It is a violation of this section to:
(a) Abandon a junk vehicle upon any property;
(b) 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, forestland, recreational area, trailer park, highway, road, street, or alley except:
(i) 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;
(ii) 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 (5) 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 10 cubic yards. A violation of this subsection may alternatively be punished with a notice of a natural resource infraction under chapter 7.84 RCW.
(c) It is a gross misdemeanor for a person to litter more than 10 cubic yards.
(d)(i) A person found liable or guilty under this section shall, in addition to the penalties provided for misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, or for natural resource infractions as provided in RCW 7.84.100, also pay a litter clean-up restitution payment equal to four times the actual cost of cleanup for natural resource infractions and misdemeanors and two times the actual cost of cleanup for gross misdemeanors. The court shall distribute an amount of the litter clean-up restitution payment that equals the actual cost of cleanup to the landowner where the littering incident occurred and the remainder of the restitution payment to the law enforcement agency investigating the incident.
(ii) 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.
(iii) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) If the violation occurs in a state park, the court shall, in addition to any other penalties assessed, order the person to perform 24 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.
(5) 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.


Findings2024 c 231: "(1) The legislature finds that, despite a modern waste disposal infrastructure, the occurrences of unlawful solid waste dumping are an increasing problem on open spaces such as privately and publicly owned forestlands. This irresponsible waste dumping, which often includes hazardous materials, asbestos, derelict boats, junk vehicles, appliances, furniture, and household garbage not only creates significant costs for the landowner, but also creates immediate, and sometimes lasting, environmental and habitat damage and degradation of recreational and aesthetic opportunities.
(2) The legislature further finds that the current enforcement system, which relies on the criminalization of illegal dumping, may not be the most effective, efficient, or just penalty system. Converting all but the most egregious illegal dumping from a criminal act to a civil infraction creates a system of deterrence and penalties that better reflects the magnitude of the act, avoids criminal records for individuals who may be unable to afford appropriate waste management options, and reduces the burden on local criminal justice systems and infrastructures." [ 2024 c 231 s 1.]
Findings2003 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 s 1.]
Effective date2002 c 175: See note following RCW 7.80.130.
Severability2000 c 154: See note following RCW 70A.200.030.
Lighted material, etc.Receptacles in conveyances: RCW 76.04.455.
Throwing materials on highway prohibitedRemoval: RCW 46.61.645.
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