El Salvador. Up to three years in prison and fines for dumping trash in unauthorized areas

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Nov 9th, 2022
Trash Problem in El Salvador.Trash in a Salvadoran street.

The Salvadoran legislature reformed the Penal Code and the Environmental Law to punish those who throw garbage in unauthorized areas. From now on, individuals improperly disposing of trash can face up to 3 years in prison and fines of up to 25 thousand dollars.

With 65 votes in favor, the Legislative Assembly approved the changes. Once the president signs the bill and then gets published in the official newspaper, the changes will take effect.

The trash problem in El Salvador has been around for years and is continuously affecting the country’s environment. Water pollution and the country’s air quality are affected by the trash problem.

Fines for throwing under 2 pounds of garbage.

The penalty for individuals who throw less than 2 pounds of garbage in the street, roads, rivers, lakes, parks, and other non-authorized areas is $20.00.

Any individual that doesn’t pay the fines will be in tax insolvency, and they will not be able to obtain police solvency. Police solvency is needed regularly in El Salvador.

If the infraction is committed by a minor, paying the fines will be the responsibility of parents or legal guardians.

Fines for throwing over 2 pounds of garbage.

The fines drastically increase if the garbage amount exceeds 2 pounds. In this case, the individual could get up to 3 years in jail. Also, it might not be able to obtain police solvency and might not be able to leave the country.

Individuals could face 1 to 3 years in jail; however, the judge could change the prison sentence for community work. Also, if trash is thrown from a vehicle, the driver’s driving license could be suspended for six months.

If the dumped waste clogs sewers and seriously endangers people’s health or quality of life; or the balance of ecological systems, the fine will be $25,000.

For a cleaner country for all Salvadorans! We have reformed articles 255, 256, and 257 of the Criminal Code to classify aggravated pollution of the environment as a crime.

The new changes are designed so the country’s culture of improperly disposing of trash changes; imposing fines is good in a country where people randomly dispose of trash without thinking of consequences.

“We are determined to take care of our environment to inherit a better country for future generations,” Twitted the Salvadoran legislative assembly.