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New law offers reward for reporting litter bugs

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Litterers beware.

As of July 1, state law mandates citizens who report a suspect who is convicted of littering less than 5 pounds will receive a $50 reward. Citizens who report a suspect convicted of littering more than 5 pounds will receive a $250 reward.

Littering includes garbage, waste material and tobacco products.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Kennett, who is assigned to litter enforcement, said the new law also lowers the fine from $500 to $50 for people convicted of littering but orders the convict to perform public service work.

“The violator is responsible for cleanup,” Kennett said.

Under the new law, a conviction of littering:

• Less than 5 pounds results in a $50 fine that can be paid without going to court. Total fine and court costs amount to $204.50. Defendants who go to court and are convicted will be ordered to remove litter up to a maximum 40 hours or work in a recycling center.

• Between 5 and 10 pounds of litter dropped results in a $50 fine. The convict must remove litter for a maximum 80 hours or work in a recycling center.

• More than 10 pounds of litter dropped results in a $50 fine. The convict must remove litter for a maximum 160 hours or work in a recycling center.

Kennett said the new law will help litter officers in their duties.

Bills, personal papers, magazines or other writings displaying the name of a person may allow a judge to infer that person littered rather than investigators proving the person knowingly littered.

Fines collected will be used for litter prevention and education programs like those presented by Keep America Beautiful and be added to the county’s general fund.
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Environment, General Assembly, Keep America Beautiful, Litter, Tennessee, THP
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Members Opinions:
July 09, 2007 at 6:00pm
sounds good in theory. let's hope it works.
July 09, 2007 at 6:00pm
No, and apparently, I can throw YOUR mail out in the street and call the cops on you - this could get ugly...
July 09, 2007 at 6:00pm
it's a start. yeah, it has its holes. i mean, lawpuppy could be the ocifer out there. heck, i'll toss my mail out there and call if he'll come get me. but honestly, it's something, and it's long overdue. i'd like to see litter stopped because i want to leave this world better than i found it. that's what i teach my kids when we go somewhere. matters not to us who tossed something out, i'll send them out to pick up at least a piece for their age and throw it out. something is better than nothing in this case i hope.
July 10, 2007 at 6:00pm
ah, keptboy, you flatter me, I would enjoy citing you for littering.
July 10, 2007 at 6:00pm
Will the litter that's removed be used as evidence, or placed into our radioactive dump?
July 10, 2007 at 6:00pm
oh lawpup, how will i ever know which Starbucks or donut shop you are sitting in? that's right, you are the janitor/tidy-bowl man so you won't be out patrolling.
July 10, 2007 at 6:00pm
Ok, it's time to pull this one because they are not even talking about the subject at hand here.
July 10, 2007 at 6:00pm
Did you know the litter law also applies to Tennessee's lakes and streams as well as illicit discharges to storm drains...like spent motor oil.
July 11, 2007 at 6:00pm
I'm glad to see the new law but it seems to me that it will be hard to enforce. I mean, how am I going to prove who threw all the Krystal wrappers, the McDonalds cups or the KFC buckets out along my road? I do think having to pick it up, especially in this heat, would be a good punishment, if I could ever catch the ones doing it.
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