BUCKHANNON — Residents have reportedly been noticing several locations around the county that have become riddled with litter. Hoping to educate the offenders, the local Division of Natural Resources office spoke with The Record Delta about the issue.
Recently, several Upshur County residents have taken to Facebook to voice their frustration on the public dumping and littering issues. One post made to the Buckhannon Events Facebook group shared photos with the caption, “This is at a wide spot on Route 20 about two miles from the Upshur County line. Almost two years ago, someone dumped, at this same spot, over one thousand tortilla shells and pumpkins.” The issue caught the Delta’s attention and prompted the gathering of information regarding the littering issue and possible repercussions.
According to West Virginia State Code §17C-14-14, it is unlawful to litter from a motor vehicle. The code states: (a) it is unlawful for any driver or passenger of a motor vehicle or other conveyance to place, deposit, dump, throw or cause to be placed, deposited, dumped or thrown, any litter from a motor vehicle or other conveyance in or upon any public or private highway, road, street or alley; any private property; any public property; or the waters of the state or within one hundred feet of the waters of this state, except in a proper litter or other solid waste receptacle.
(b) For purposes of this section, “litter” means all waste material including, but not limited to, any garbage, refuse, trash, disposable package, container, can, bottle, paper, ashes, cigarette or cigar butt, carcass of any dead animal or any part thereof, or any other offensive or unsightly matter, but not including the wastes of primary processes of mining, logging, sawmilling, farming or manufacturing.
(c) In addition to any penalty imposed for littering under the provisions of article fifteen-a, chapter twenty-two of this code, any driver of a motor vehicle or other conveyance convicted of violating this section shall have three points assessed against his or her driver’s license.
(d) The Commissioner shall assess points against the driver’s license of any driver of a motor vehicle or other conveyance found guilty of violating this section upon receiving notice from a circuit clerk, magistrate court or municipal court of this state of the conviction. Circuit clerks, magistrate courts and municipal courts of this state shall promptly notify the Commissioner of the convictions.
(e) When there is more than one occupant in a motor vehicle or other conveyance and it cannot be determined which occupant is responsible for violating this section, the driver shall be presumed to be responsible for the violation.
(f) The Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles shall propose or amend legislative rules for promulgation, in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to effectuate the purposes of this section.
If any person is convicted of the misdemeanor by placing, depositing, or dumping litter, that person shall be fined not less than $3,000 nor more than $11,000, or confinement in jail for not more than one year, or both.
The DNR asks that any dumping sites be reported for investigation and that if anyone knows of an offender, they can educate them on the negative consequences of their actions. The State of West Virginia prides itself on being “Almost Heaven” and illegal dump sites do not help with that mission. Do your part in keeping this beautiful state clean and free from litter.