Cigarette butt disposal
Cigarette butts make up about one-third of the one billion items of litter entering Melbourne’s waterways each year and can take up to 15 years to break down.
Council’s Environment Local Law requires that all businesses:
- store waste material, including cigarettes, in an approved container
- maintain the cleanliness of the area around their premises.
Council officers may issue penalties of up to $500 to businesses for failing to comply with these requirements.
Under the Environment Protection Act, a litter enforcement officer can issue a fine of $289 for an unlit butt and $577 for incorrect disposal of a lit cigarette butt, with penalties of up to $5774 if taken to court. Litter enforcement officers include council officers, police and other officers authorised under the Act.
How can your business help prevent cigarette butt litter?
- Provide suitable receptacles at your premises for the disposal of cigarette butt litter, ensuring they are inside the building line. See below for information on suitable receptacles.
- Supply windproof ashtrays if operating a kerbside cafe.
- Display a ‘Butt it, then Bin it!’ sticker or sign.
- Educate your staff and customers about the correct disposal of cigarette butts.
- If butts are littered outside your premises, clean them up. Sweep them into a rubbish bin and not into the gutter.
There are a number of disposal receptacles available, including windproof ashtrays, wall-mounted ashtrays, cigarette bins, and personal ashtrays. See the different types of butt bin available.
Before you install a wall-mounted ashtray you may need a permit. Contact Building and Certification for more information on 03 9658 9658.
- Use the Cigarette butt calculator to work out how many butts you’ll need to dispose of.
- Order a butt bin from a Butt bin supplier.
For more information on cigarette butt disposal visit Cigarette butts or contact the City of Melbourne on 03 9658 9658.