Pennsylvania Littering and Illegal Dumping Laws
Current as of July 2019

Printable version (pdf)

Law

Penalty

Enforcement Agencies
(Within Jurisdiction)

PA Vehicle Code, Title 75, Chapter 37
Covers litter and waste dropped, thrown, or deposited from a vehicle that lands upon any highway, other public or private property without the consent of the owner, or into or on the waters of the Commonwealth. Vehicle owners are responsible even if the owner was not driving or was not in the vehicle.
A summary offense and may be sentenced to either or both:

1. To pay a fine of not more than $900 in an easement purchased under the Agricultural Area Security Law, $600 in an agricultural security area, or $300 anywhere else.

Fines are doubled in designated Litter Enforcement Corridors.

2. To pick up trash:
1st conviction: between 8 and 16 hours.
2nd conviction: between 16 and 32 hours.
3rd and more convictions: 40 and 80 hours.

Local Police
PA State Police
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
Bureau of State Parks
Bureau of Forestry
(in state parks & forests only)
PA Vehicle Code, Title 75, Chapter 49
Covers escaped vehicle loads that cause injury to a person or damage to another vehicle or other property as a result of improper securing of such load.
A summary offense and may be sentenced to:
1. If no injury or damage, pay a fine of between $100 and $300.2. If it results in injury or damage to another vehicle or property, pay a fine of between $300 and $1,000.Fines are doubled in designated Litter Enforcement Corridors.
Local Police
PA State Police
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
Bureau of State Parks
Bureau of Forestry
(in state parks & forests only)
PA Crimes Code, Title 18, Chapter 65, § 6501 (a)(1), (a)(2)
Covers litter or waste deposited into or upon any road or right-of-way, land of another, or into the waters of the Commonwealth.This can include someone illegally disposing their trash or someone who is paid to dispose of trash.
1st offense: A summary offense with a fine of $50 to $300 plus be required to pick up trash for between 5 and 30 hours, or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.

2nd and subsequent offenses: A 3rd degree misdemeanor with a fine of between $300 and $1000, and also may be required to pick up trash for between 30 and 100 hours, or to imprisonment, or both.

Fines are doubled in designated Litter Enforcement Corridors and tripled if trash originated from a commercial business.

Local Code Enforcement Officers
Local Police
PA State Police
PA Fish and Boat Commission
PA Game Commission
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
Bureau of State Parks
Bureau of Forestry
(in state parks & forests only)
PA Crimes Code, Title 18, Chapter 65, § 6501 (a)(3) Covers owner or operator of a trash collection vehicle (including a private vehicle) who knowingly deposits any part of the vehicle load upon any road or right-of-way, land of another, or into the waters of the Commonwealth. 1st offense: A 2nd degree misdemeanor with a fine of between $500 and $5000, and may also include imprisonment or community service for not more than 2 years.

2nd and subsequent offense: A 2nd degree misdemeanor with a fine of between $1000 and $10,000, and may also include imprisonment or community service for not more than 5 years.

Fines are doubled in designated Litter Enforcement Corridors and tripled if trash originated from a commercial business. Vehicle and equipment may also be seized.

Local Code Enforcement Officers Local Police
PA State Police
PA Fish and Boat Commission
PA Game Commission
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
Bureau of State Parks
Bureau of Forestry
(in state parks & forests only)
PA Environmental Protection Code, Title 25
Regulations are derived from the Solid Waste Management Act, Waste Tire Recycling Act, Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, and the Clean Streams Law. This code makes it unlawful for anyone to dispose of waste, within the commonwealth, at anywhere other than to a facility that has a DEP permit to operate. It also requires vehicles used to haul waste to be appropriately marked and meet other restrictions. The exception is individuals hauling their own municipal waste to a permitted facility.
Depending on the violation:

As a civil penalty, fine can be as high as $25,000 per offense.

As a criminal penalty, fine can be between $100 and $500,000 per incident depending on the type of offense (i.e. summary offense, misdemeanor, felony) and degree. Imprisonment may also be a possibility depending on infraction.

Vehicles can be seized if used to violate any regulation pertaining to the transportation of waste.

PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Bureau of Waste Management
Bureau of Watershed Management
PA Code, Title 17, § 11.214 & § 21.122(b)(1) Conservation and Natural Resources, State Parks, and State Forests Rules and Regulations Covers littering and illegal dumping in State Parks (ch 11) and State Forests (ch 21). A summary offense under title 18, section 7506 of the Crimes Code (see PA Code title 17 section 11.223 for state parks and title 17 section 21.123 for state forests). PA DCNR
Bureau of State Parks
Bureau of Forestry
PA Fish and Boat Commission
PA Game Commission
PA Fish and Boat Code, Title 30, § 2503
Covers littering and illegal dumping on Commission-owned or controlled property and in or along waters or lands adjacent to or contiguous to waters of the Commonwealth. Penalties are defined in section 923 of the same title.
When these actions harm fish: 1st degree summary offense with a fine of $250 or imprisonment not more than 90 days.

If household garbage is transported and left: 2nd degree summary offense with a fine of $150 or not more than 20 days imprisonment.

For other litter offenses: 3rd degree summary offense and $75 fine.

Optionally, an additional fine of between $20 to $50 per piece of trash may be added.

If an additional summary offense under title 30 is committed within 12 months, then a $200 fine may be added.

PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
PA Fish and Boat Commission
PA Game Commission
PA Game and Wildlife Code, Title 34, Chapter 25 Covers littering and illegal dumping on State Game Lands or on lands or waters open to public hunting or fur-taking. See sec 925 of title 34 for penalties. 3rd degree summary offense with a fine of between $250 and $500, which is doubled for subsequent offenses. An additional fine of $10 may be imposed for each item of litter. PA Fish and Boat Commission
PA Game Commission
Local Ordinances
Cover littering, illegal dumping, and storage of waste. Ordinances may vary in different jurisdictions. Places to find the ordinances can be municipal or county websites, Municode.com, or eCode360.
Varies by municipality. Local Code Enforcement
Local Police
Officers Local Solid Waste Authorities County Health Departments

 

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is not an enforcement or a legal agency. The above information does not does not constitute legal advice.