Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

  ( Heading of Title 7.97 renumbered from Title 7.9 by Stats. 2020, Ch. 370, Sec. 184. )


(a) It shall be the responsibility of any person owning or operating any establishment or public place in which litter receptacles are required by this chapter to procure, place, and maintain such receptacles at his own expense on the premises in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The responsibility for the removal of litter from receptacles placed at publicly-owned places shall remain with the public agencies. Removal of litter from receptacles placed on private property shall remain with the owner of the property or, in cases where the owner is not in actual possession of the premises, with the tenant thereof.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 364.)


Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions as set forth in this section govern the construction of this chapter.

(a) “Public place” means any area that is used or held out for the use of the public whether owned and operated by public or private interests, but not including indoor areas. “Indoor area” means any enclosed area covered with a roof and protected from moisture and wind.

(b) “Drive-in restaurant” means a restaurant that sells food products for immediate consumption on or near a location at which parking facilities are provided for the use of patrons in consuming the products purchased at the restaurant.

(c) “Fast food outlet” means a restaurant that sells food products primarily on a “takeout” or “to go” basis.

(d) “Grocery stores” includes, but is not limited to, convenience markets that sell groceries.

(e) “Shopping centers” means a group of two or more stores that maintain a common parking lot for patrons of those stores.

(f) “Board” means the State Solid Waste Management Board.

(g) “Litter” means all improperly discarded waste material, including, but not limited to, convenience food, beverage, and other product packages or containers constructed of steel, aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, and other natural and synthetic materials, thrown or deposited on the lands and waters of the state, but not including the properly discarded waste of the primary processing of agriculture, mining, logging, sawmilling, or manufacturing.

(h) “Solid waste” means all putrescible and nonputrescible solid, semisolid, and liquid wastes.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1054, Sec. 6. Effective September 15, 1982.)


Litter receptacles shall be placed in all public places in the state, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Drive-in restaurants and fast food outlets.

(b) Gasoline service stations.

(c) Shopping centers.

(d) Grocery stores.

(e) Boat launching and takeout areas.

(f) Boat moorage and fueling stations.

(g) Public piers.

(h) Parks and campgrounds.

(i) Beaches.

(j) Outdoor parking lots which have a capacity of 50 or more automobiles and which are contiguous to the public places listed in this section.

The board may further define “public place” by specifying in its regulations particular types of places that are subject to the requirements of this section.

Litter receptacles need be placed in such public places only during times such places, or events held at them, are open to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 364.)


Placement of litter receptacles shall be in conformance with laws, ordinances, resolutions, and regulations pertaining to fire, safety, public health, or welfare.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 364.)


(a) No person shall damage, deface, abuse, or misuse any litter receptacle so as to interfere with its proper function or to detract from its proper appearance.

(b) No person shall deposit leaves, clippings, prunings, or gardening refuse in any litter receptacle required pursuant to this chapter.

(c) No person shall deposit household solid waste in any litter receptacle required pursuant to this chapter. However, this subdivision does not mean that wastes of food consumed on the premises at any public place may not be deposited in litter receptacles.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 364.)


Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of an infraction, and upon conviction thereof shall be liable to punishment by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon a first conviction, not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon a second conviction, and not less than three hundred dollars ($300) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon a third or subsequent conviction.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 140. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)


The penalties which may be levied for littering in this state shall be prominently posted throughout the state.

(Added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 364.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV