City council passes new litter ordinance 6-1

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -The Mobile City Council has passed Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s proposed legislation to strengthen the city’s laws on litter enforcement.

The ordinance that was approved impacts everything from junk cars to cigarette butts.

CHANGES IN ENFORCEMENT

Mayor Sandy Stimpson said the new litter ordinance isn’t that much different from the law that has been on the books, with one exception.

He said, “We’re making minor changes in the ordinances, in the laws. The major change is going to come in enforcement.”

Police are busy fighting crime to be the primary enforcers, so, who will be watching for trash?

City of Mobile Planning and Development Director Dianne Irby said, “It will be our municipal enforcement group, which is part of our property maintenance unit.”

FROM JUNKED CARS TO TRASHY LOTS

The new law said there shall be no junk, or junked vehicles, even on private property.

Irby said, “It’s still a consideration of trash and litter, and it’s a property maintenance issue.”

Trash on a lot?

That’s the responsibility of the owner of the lot, no matter who’s dumping the trash.

Irby said, “Then, if you’ve got a multi-tenant shopping complex, the owner needs to work with all the tenants and occupants to work out a plan for who’s responsible.”

OTHER RULES

Also, the driver of a car is accountable for litter from a vehicle.

Illegal signs will be strictly enforced.

And, if litter enforcement goes well, the mayor hopes another problem could be eased.

Stimpson said, “The litter part of it is creating the storm water problem, so, we’ve got storm water things that we’ve got to do to be in compliance with ADEM.”

ADEM is the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

WATCHING FOR CIGARETTE BUTTS

City officials said something else that will help is making sure commercial property owners have cigarette receptacles.

How do cigarette butts hurt?

Irby said, “They clog up drains, and they don’t deteriorate easily.”

Mayor Stimpson said, “When we start enforcing it, fining people, and collecting the fines, that’s when you’ll see a change in behavior, in my opinion.”

FINAL VOTE

The city council approved the ordinance six to one, with Council Member John Williams voting against it.

He had concerns over the law mandating enclosures of a certain height around dumpsters.

Read the amended litter ordinance here.

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