Litter is an important environmental issue.  It is amazing that 94% of people identify litter as a major environmental problem and yet people still litter.  Carelessly discarded garbage affects every member of society: it causes harm to people and animals, damages our waterways, cost us money and suggests that we do not care for our environment.  Fortunately, we can all do something to help prevent and reduce litter.

What Are The Effects of Litter?
Litter can cause a whole range of problems for everyone in our communities.  Litter discarded in streets and parks can travel through the storm water system to our rivers and creeks, where it can cause harm to wildlife.

  • Litter costs money.  Removing litter from the environment costs everyone money.
  • Litter is a threat to public health.  Litter attracts vermin and is a breeding ground for bacteria.  Items such as broken glass and syringes can be a health hazard in public places.
  • Litter can be a fire hazard.  Accumulated litter and careless discarded cigarette butts are potential fire hazards.
  • Litter looks bad.  Litter negatively affects the image of places, especially the appearance of communities.
  • Litter attracts litter.  Litter sends out a message that people do not care about their area and that it is acceptable to litter.

Ohio Litter Laws
Under Ohio law, litter is any trash thrown, discarded or dropped by a person onto public property, private property not owned by the individual, or into Ohio’s waterways. The Ohio Revised Code prohibits littering, regardless of whether or not it was intentional. Numerous laws prohibit littering and illegal dumping. Littering is a serious offense, punishable by fines of up to $500 and 60 days in jail.

Ohio Revised Code

There are many kinds of littering offenses.  Code violations include:

  • Littering and Illegal Dumping- ORC 3767.32
  • Littering from a Motor Vehicle- ORC 4511.82
  • Littering from a Watercraft Vessel-ORC 1547.49
  • Unsecured Load – ORC 4513.31



Litter Prevention is a matter of civic pride. It’s everyone’s problem. By working to increase community civic pride, we hope to help make littering in Jefferson and Belmont County a thing of the past.

We work with community leaders, elected officials and community organizations in an effort to reduce litter throughout our district. This effort is an ongoing partnership to address issues relating to littering behavior and litter prevention, including:

  • Research of the circumstances under which littering occurs
  • Providing litter free containers for sporting and community events.
  • Development of a public awareness campaign directed at children, teens and adults designed to engender civic pride, individual responsibility and to reduce littering behavior
  • Outreach to the leadership of other communities and local agencies and organizations with responsibility and vested interests in the litter problem.

Ways YOU Can Prevent Litter:
There are a number of simple ways to help prevent littering.

  • Make a choice not to litter.
  • Set an example for other by practicing good stewardship. If you see litter, pick it up and properly dispose it.
  • Use garbage cans properly. Make sure your waste goes in the garbage can, not beside it.
  • Never sweep grass, leaves or any other waste into streets.
  • Sweep your walks and driveways.  Never hose the garbage into the streets and drains.
  • Always place waste in the most appropriate place.  If there are no garbage cans, take it home with you.

Make Your Next Community Days or Festival a Litter-Free Event!
A litter-free event is primarily an awareness raising effort to educate citizens about litter and to promote personal responsibility in stopping littering habits.



 The JB Green Team has helped sponsor an Environmental Enforcement Officer in each County with a purchase of environmental enforcement vehicles and equipment.   Residents can now contact their individual Sheriff’s Department with complaints regarding dumping and littering.

Deputy Benjamin Swoyer

Jefferson County Sheriff Office at (740) 283-8600