Vinton Council enacts new litter ordinance with $50 penalty

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Vinton Police Chief Tom Foster has announced that members of Town Council voted at their meeting on June 20 to amend the town ordinance on “dumping unsightly matter,” stated in the Solid Waste section of the Town Code.

The ordinance took effect on July 1 and in essence reduces the penalty for dumping litter from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a traffic infraction penalty with a fine.

Unsightly matter includes: trash, garbage, refuse, litter, cigarette butts, newspapers, fliers, food containers, or other unsightly matter discarded on public property including public highways, right-of-way’s, property adjacent to a highway or right-of-way, park, or on public property without the written consent of the owner.

Be prepared to fork over a civil penalty of $50 if you choose to discard such items from your vehicle and you are observed doing so. The owner or operator of the vehicle will be presumed to be the person ejecting the unsightly matter unless the evidence can be rebutted.

The penalty will be payable to the town treasurer, much as a parking violation.