Littering is Illegal… really?

"Made in the U.S.A."

“Made in the U.S.A.”

For a July, 2016 art exhibit, I created red, white and blue mixed media piece using trash that had been picked up either by me, or some of the monthly Beach Sweep volunteers at Las Olas and A1A, Fort Lauderdale, FL. The piece was for an exhibition at the Broward County’s  downtown main Library’s 6th Floor Gallery. Title: Made in the U. S. A.. As I engaged in conversation with interested viewers,  it was evident that not everyone thought that littering was illegal. After all, as they shared, no one they knew was ever arrested or fined for littering in Broward County, Florida.

1000dollarfineforlitteringsignI really am not looking to have people fined for littering. I’d rather just see habitual littering behavior modified. Wikipedia reports: CALIFORNIA imposes fines and litter pick up time for some of the arrested offenders. The $1,000 referred to on this sign is the maximum fine allowable by law in California. Repeat offenders can pay more. More extensive littering / trash dumping also contributes to higher fines.

Head north to Oregon and Washington, the standard and focus changes. There the focus is more on throwing lit cigarettes out the window. The feared result is the starting of wild fires. In Oregon there are laws for littering that can carry up to a 10 year prison term.

IDAHO: In 2006, Idaho passed a law about littering. Generally speaking the fine is under $200 and community litter pick-up can also be imposed.

MARYLAND: It’s not surprising to find law firms when you search the internet for littering in Maryland. The state imposes fines up to $30,000 and  prison terms.  For under 100 pounds the fines top out at $1,500 and carries no more than 30 days imprisonment.

FLORIDA: It’s a $50 fine for littering as long as it doesn’t exceed 15 pounds. Punishment may also include litter pick-up time. If thrown from a vehicle, the driver may have 3 points added to his motor vehicle record. For more information see Florida Litter Information.

What would you consider appropriate action for a litterbug? Contemplate, and share your thoughts.




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