Officials hope tougher litter laws will clean up city - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Joe Birch

Officials hope tougher litter laws will clean up city

John Garner and sons pick up litter along Raines near their home on South Prescott.
   
"At least every other day, I'm out picking up tires and trash and putting them to the curb so the city sanitary people can haul them off." Garner said

Garner and his employee, Chris Goolsby, do the corner clean-ups out of civic pride and to protect property value:

"We're trying to keep it clean but like I said, over the weekends, I come back into work Monday, there's beer bottles, there's tires, there's palettes, all kinds of trash," Goolsby said. 

The state has a new ad campaign and tougher litter laws.

The folks who are throwing cigarette butts out and fast food cups. They can get stopped and ticketed," Eldra Tarpley White with Memphis City Beautiful said.

White said new state laws means if a police officer sees someone throwing something as simple as a cigarette butt on the street, they can be ticketed and fined fifty dollars.

If you're caught tossing something weighing between five and ten pounds, you get the fine plus up to 80 hours of roadside litter removal. And if you're caught dumping something heavier than 10 pounds, you could face the fine plus 160 hours of litter removal.
   
If you see someone driving down the road and throwing litter out of their vehicle, you can call the city hotline at 52-CLEAN (522-5326) and give the license number of the offender. That person will then receive a litter alert letter, a litter bag and a reminder that littering is against the law.

New Tennessee laws mean some litterers may be sentenced to doing what the Garner boys and Chris Goolsby do voluntarily, and fewer people making the mess!


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