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Lansing’s littering laws

A summary of the ordinances intended to keep our community beautiful

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 24, 2018) – With Community Clean-up Day fast approaching (April 28), and the barrenness of winter still gripping the area, littering has been a topic of discussion at more than one recent meeting at Village Hall. Underlying the passion for keeping Lansing clean is an assumption that residents all have the same understanding about expectations. But, as Recycling 101 revealed, not everyone knows what they think they know.

Lansing does have ordinances about garbage and littering. Chapter 30, Article II of Lansing’s Code of Ordinances is about “Garbage and refuse.” And Chapter 10, Article I is about “Sanitation” as it relates to owning animals. Links are provided within the highlights below, and each link will open a separate tab to the specific section being quoted.

Littering is not only prohibited, it’s declared to be a nuisance

“No person shall throw or drop any litter or refuse upon a sidewalk, crosswalk, roadway or any part of any public street, and such act is hereby declared to be a nuisance and unlawful.” (Chapter 30, Article II, Sec. 30-21.)

Wind is not an excuse

“It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit or leave any refuse or material in such a place or condition that it can be blown by the wind so as to be scattered or cause clouds of dust or particles; and it shall be unlawful for any person to permit the escape of soot, ashes or other solid products or result of combustion so as to be windblown or scattered.” (Chapter 30, Article II, Sec. 30-23.)

Dog poop might be biodegradable, but it’s also unsanitary and therefore must be picked up by the owner

“No owner or custodian of any animal shall cause or allow the animal to soil, defile or defecate on any public property or upon any street, sidewalk, public way, play area or common grounds owned jointly by the members of a homeowners or condominium association, or upon private property other than that of the owner, unless the owner or custodian immediately removes and disposes of all feces deposited by the animal…” (Chapter 10, Article I, Sec. 10-7.)

When you pick up your dog’s poop, deposit it in your own trash

“[D]ispose of all feces deposited by the animal by the following methods: (1) Collection of the feces and placement in a paper or plastic bag or other container; and (2) Removal of the bag or container to the property of the animal owner or custodian and disposition thereafter in a manner as otherwise may be permitted by law.” (Chapter 10, Article I, Sec. 10-7.)

Violators can be fined

The “General penalties” section of Lansing’s code says that people can be fined when they violate an ordinance. In summary, section 1-23 says:

  • Violating the ordinance shall be punished by a fine of “no more than” $750.00 for any one offense.
  • Violators can be imprisoned for failure to pay a fine, but imprisonment shall not exceed six months for one offense.
  • Violators might be asked to do public service too, such as picking up litter in parks or along highways.

Lansing Police Chief Dennis Murrin affirms that evidence of littering can be provided by police officers as well as ordinary citizens who witness it and document it—by video or photo, for example. Any visual evidence submitted must be of high enough quality that the offender can be identified.

“Once a person is cited for littering,” said Murrin, “the ordinance is heard through our administrative hearing process by the hearing officer. The hearing officer can assess fines for such offense anywhere between $100.00 and $750.00.”

Keeping Lansing beautiful

The April 28 Community Clean-up Day is another opportunity for residents to keep Lansing beautiful. To register, click the link and complete the form on the Village website:

  • Community Clean-up Day

Or call Village Clerk Vivian Payne: 708-895-7207.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. How does littering compliance fit in with our recycling pickup. Alot of wind blown recyclables get distributed due to bin placement waiting for the truck.

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