SC Litter Laws
What are the state penalties for littering in South Carolina?
The South Carolina General Assembly recently enacted Act 214 of 2018, amending Section 16-11-700 of the state litter laws. This action by the Legislature was done in an effort to give magistrates and municipal courts greater flexibility in the prosecution of litter cases. The new law makes it easier to achieve court-ordered community service/litter pick up by removing the requirement for supervision. Act 214 also “makes the penalties fit the crime” by classifying violations into distinct categories as shown below and providing for a definition of litter.
- Up to 15 lbs – Persons convicted of placing litter, as defined, on public or private property must remove that litter and shall be fined not less than $25 and not more than $100, or up to 30 days in jail, and the court must impose eight hours of “litter gathering or other form of community service.”
- Between 15 lbs and 500 lbs (illegal dumping) – Persons convicted must be fined not less than $200 nor more than and and $500, or up to 30 days in jail, and the court shall require 16 hours of litter gathering or other community service. Community service increases to 24 hours upon a second conviction, and 32 hours for a third conviction within five years.
- More than 500 lbs (illegal dumping) – Persons convicted must be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, and up to a year in jail. The violator also may be ordered to remove the dumped litter, pay damages, and perform community service. Fines for dumping more than 500 lbs of litter may not be suspended.
- Other provisions – This act defines litter and illegal dumping as separate offenses which caused confusion when enforcing violations on both public and private owned properties. The new law makes it easier to achieve court-ordered community service/litter pick up by removing the requirement for supervision. The litter gathering community service portion of the penalty may not be suspended, except the court may, upon request, accept an additional monetary penalty equal to $15 per hour in lieu of the community service. Probation may be granted only due to physical or other incapacities.
*the law has not been updated at scstatehouse.gov.