July 14, 2024 12:32 am
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Tougher Penalties for Littering Proposed in NC Legislature

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The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill that would significantly increase fines for littering, a measure aimed at combating the state’s pervasive trash problem. The proposed legislation would double fines for first-time offenders, starting at $500 for less than 10 pounds of litter, and impose higher penalties for larger amounts. Sen. Tom McInnis, who introduced the bill, emphasized the need to preserve North Carolina’s natural beauty and curb the high costs associated with litter clean-up, which totaled $25 million last year for the N.C. Department of Transportation alone.

The bill also includes community service requirements for offenders and harsher penalties for repeat violations. Despite previous unsuccessful attempts to increase fines, McInnis believes this initiative is crucial for deterring littering. However, enforcement remains a concern, as the number of citations issued for littering has declined in recent years. The NCDOT supports the initiative but stresses the importance of ensuring that fines are actually enforced to be effective in reducing littering across the state.