Stiffer penalties may come to litterbugs in Michigan

litter in Michigan

Sponsors are hoping that advancing legislation that could mean littering would come with stiffer penalties in Michigan will deter illegal waste dumping.

Under the proposed legislation, littering more than three cubic feet of garbage would become a misdemeanor and therefore subject to at least a $2,500 fine under state House Bill 4325. This HB passed the House on Nov. 9 and was heard Jan. 25 in the Senate energy and environment committee.

The bill would be an amendment Michigan’s littering statute, Part 89 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). Under the terms, littering less than three cubic feet of trash would remain a civil infraction with fines between $800 and $1,500, but littering larger amounts would become a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $10,000 depending on the volume and frequency.

Unlike a civil infraction, misdemeanor convictions potentially carry a jail sentence in Michigan.

Penalties under the bill would apply to a convicted person and their employer if they were dumping at the employer’s direction. Further, a judge could order a convicted person to reimburse a local entity for cleanup.

— with files from


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