New York State VTL § 1220 (Refuse Law)

New York State VTL § 1220 Refuse Law

York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1220 covers the topic of refuse (garbage) disposal, the consequences of being ticketed for this violation, and situations where this law is not applicable.  

VTL § 1220 “THE LAW”

This Vehicle and Traffic Law outlines what refuse or “garbage” can and cannot be thrown on highways and land adjacent to a highway. A fancy way of saying: “littering.” The law does not allow a person to leave, place or discard any garbage, including litter or nauseous or offensive matter, on highways and land adjacent to a highway.

For example, Toby finally ordered a much need new sofa for his living room. But, he decides that driving to the local dump is too long of a drive, so he comes up with the brilliant ideal of throwing his old, torn and stained sofa on part of the highway that is secluded and near his house. By doing so, Toby is guilty of violating the refuse law.


There are two situations to which the refuse law does not apply.  First, the law does not apply to hazardous road conditions caused by snow, ice, or sleet.  In these types of conditions, the law allows ashes, sand, salt or other material to be put on the road to minimize hazardous winter road conditions.

The second exemption of the refuse law applies to vehicles used for agriculture or domestic animals.  VTL § 1220 built in an allowance of unavoidable deposit of words reasonable and unavoidable are used in relation to this law. 


Although there are no points associated with this Vehicle and Traffic Law violation, there are monetary penalties assessed upon a driver who is found guilty of this law. A first violation can result in a fine of no more than $350 and/or 10 hours of public service.  A second violation can result in a fine of no more than $700 and/or 15 hours of public service.

Please, do not be a litterbug.  If you find yourself ticketed for this violation despite your best efforts, or ticketed for any other violation of New York Traffic laws, give traffic ticket lawyer, Elisa Claro, Esq. a call.  She has handled thousands of traffic violations. Her specialty and passion is traffic law.  Elisa’s experience as a traffic attorney gives her personal familiarity with many of the police officers, assistant district attorneys, and city, town, and village prosecutors. In making the right decision to hire our traffic ticket law firm, think of all the money you will save in increased auto insurance premiums, fines, fees and points which become a permanent part of your driving record.   Contact The Claro Law Firm today by phone, 917 300-3334, or online. The Claro Law Firm handles traffic tickets throughout all of New York State, including Dutchess, Orange, and Rockland Counties. And Westchester County, including Elmsford, Tuckahoe, and Bronxville.  We look forward to speaking with you.

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