Litter and the law
We're responsible for enforcing laws on litter and waste.
We also deal with a range of other offences like graffiti and
fly-posting, and regulate the free printed material control areas.
Under the Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1994, it's a criminal offence to drop litter or dump rubbish. This means we can fine or prosecute offenders.
Litter fines issued in 2019
Paying a litter fine
If you're caught littering, you'll be issued with a fixed penalty notice and will have to pay a fine of £80. If you pay it within 10 days, it will be reduced to £60. You must pay the fine within 14 days to avoid prosecution.
You can pay online, by phone, post or in-person.
- pay a litter fine online, or
- call us on 028 9027 0254 (you will need a debit or credit card to pay), or
- by post, include cheque or postal order made payable to Belfast City Council and send to:
Belfast City Council
City and Neighbourhood Services
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
- pay in-person at our office using cash, debit or credit card. Offices open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to
If you need additional time to pay the fine, please contact us as soon as possible. We can't accept payment by instalment but we might be able to give you more time.
Disputing a fine
If you want to dispute the fine you need to write to us as soon as possible after it has been issued.
In this letter you should:
- quote the fixed penalty notice reference number (in the top right corner of the notice)
- include all relevant information for your dispute.
We'll review your case and advise you of the outcome. If you're unsuccessful you must pay the fine immediately.
If you don't pay the fine
If you don't pay the fixed penalty you'll be summonsed to appear in court, and if convicted you could face a fine of up to £2,500. Once a summons is issued we may accept payment of the fixed penalty. However, you'll also be liable for the additional administration and legal costs incurred. These additional costs will be at least £41.