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.