A new tactic to reduce litter is under exploration in Lexington. Currently, people who trash city streets may face criminal charges. But, council member Peggy Henson, who serves on the ‘Keep Lexington Beautiful’ Commission, says a new state law allows the city to levy civil penalties. “What we have found through our research is that if a person is charged with littering, most of the time it is thrown out in court, not always, depending upon the amount of litter,” said Henson.
The issue is before a council committee for further study. To put such a civil remedy in place, the council must pass a new littering ordinance.
“If the offense was severe enough, we would have the option of still being criminal. But, the majority of just folks throwing cigarette butts or a McDonald’s bag or things like that, it could be civil,” added Henson.
Henson adds any money collected through the civil court process would stay in Fayette County. She says it could be used for educational purposes.