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State Law Changes for Fighting Litter

​The General Assembly's Act 214 of 2018 made numerous changes to the way that littering offenses are penalized under state law.

The law, found in SC Code Section 16-11-700, prohibits littering or disposing of any solid waste in waterways and public property. It also prohibits dumping solid waste on any private property in all instances where the person dumping the trash is not the property owner and does not have permission from the property owner.

Here are the penalties that became effective in 2018:

  • Dumping less than 15 pounds of litter: a fine of $25 – $100, plus eight hours of community service, such as litter cleanup.
  • Dumping any amount from 15 – 500 pounds: a fine of $200 – $500, or up to 30 days in jail, plus community service. The amount of community service depends on the number of convictions — 16 hours for the first conviction, 24 hours for the second and 32 hours for the third or any instance past that.
  • Dumping any amount above 500 pounds: a fine of $500 – $1,000, or up to a year of jail time, or both. Municipal courts have jurisdiction on cases involving any amount of litter, including amounts above 500 pounds, but are limited to $500 as a maximum fine.

For any conviction, the court can also order the person to clean up litter from public or private property, with the property owner's permission. In cases of more than 500 pounds of waste, the court can also order the violator to repair the property or pay damages.