‘This is not the first time:’ Ala. resident hopes new law cuts down on litter

Updated: Oct. 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A new Alabama law increased the penalties for people who litter, and it could mean dozens of hours picking up trash for some people.

Elmore County resident Keith McCartney said he does not like people dumping trash in front of his land and on other streets he drives. He sees piles food, furniture and toiletries canvasing the grass.

“It really makes me mad to see this kind of stuff because people think that they can come out in the rural areas and just dump anything they want to," McCartney said.

McCartney hopes a new anti-littering state law will deter people from dropping off their junk. The new law increases the fines for littering from $250 to $500. The second punishment is either up to a $3,000 fine or a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of picking up trash.

McCartney said he noticed the trash mostly in rural areas.

“It’s just awful. Just awful,” he said. "And it seems like somebody will start dumping and then everybody thinks that’s a good place to dump and then just start adding to it. It just gets worse and worse.”

People Against A Littered State Executive Vice President Spencer Ryan said said the law is a deterrent.

“Absolutely it can be a deterrent," Ryan said. “I think it’s also up to law enforcement to enforce the laws on the books."

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said they will visit areas where there is trash to see who it could belong to. Franklin said the law could help but he said county trash pickup days have been more effective at cutting down the arbitrary trash dumps.

The law said part of the money from a littering conviction will go to local governments to fund anti-littering education like advertisements.

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