Ciresi anti-littering bill passes PA House

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s legislation (H.B. 1044) today passed the PA House of Representatives. The legislation would update and simplify littering language that appears on vehicle registration cards and applications for driver’s licenses and learner’s permits.

“Pennsylvania is a beautiful state, but all too often litter degrades our streets and countryside, threatens public health and negatively impacts community pride,” Ciresi, D-Montgomery, said. “With this bill, I wanted to turn the current, technical wording used on PennDOT documents into something that everyone could understand, make sure drivers clearly understand the penalties for littering, and update the penalty language to include community service. We are all stewards of our commonwealth, and I hope the updated and simplified language on vehicle registration and applications will make Pennsylvanians step up and take responsibility for its care.”

Ciresi said littering is a major problem in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Litter Research Study -- conducted in 2018-2019 by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful -- found more than 500 million pieces of litter on roadways statewide.

Ciresi pointed out that a significant portion of taxpayer money is being used to clean up litter, citing one 2019 study by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful that found nine Pennsylvania cities spent a combined $68.5 million annually on littering prevention, education and enforcement.

The updated language on vehicle registration cards was a recommendation of the PA Litter Action Plan developed by PennDOT and DEP. Ciresi participated in the development of this plan as a co-chair of the legislature’s Litter Caucus.

“The passage of H.B. 1044 is another tool in the fight against litter,” Ciresi said. “It will make sure PA drivers know that littering is a crime and what penalties come with it when they first apply for a learner’s permit or driver’s license and have to think about it again each time they renew their vehicle registration.”