AIKEN - Litterbugs, beware! Police officers will be making cases for littering during Zero Tolerance for Litter Week, which begins today.
Aiken City Council passed a zero-tolerance resolution during Monday's council meeting. The weeklong crackdown on litter is part of a continuing anti-litter campaign by the city.
Kenneth Cook, Aiken Public Services superintendent, said the zero-tolerance week is only one part of the city's anti-litter program, which includes enforcement of litter laws, education and elimination.
Aiken is a beautiful city, but "it could be better," he said. "What we want to do is to keep Aiken beautiful and to keep it as clean as we can."
He said city officials want to keep Aiken an attractive place to live.
"We want to attract even more people who would be interested in coming to live in our city," Mr. Cook said.
Although the city is practicing zero tolerance for litter during the coming week, the city does not tolerate litter the other 51 weeks of the year, Mr. Cook said.
"We wanted to take a time during the year to bring the focus on the problem of litter, because even though Aiken is a very beautiful city, we do have a litter problem, and we don't want to be satisfied with the fact that we have a beautiful city," he said.
The resolution adopted by city council urges residents to report litter violations by calling the Department of Public Safety. Litter thrown from cars can be reported by calling police with the license numbers of offenders. Owners of the vehicles will be sent letters saying litter has been observed coming from their vehicles and listing the penalties for littering. They will not be subject to fine if reported by anyone other than police.
Aiken Public Safety Capt. Tom Galardi said the minimum fine for littering in Aiken is $125 and can go as high as $500. A judge also can include a sentence of public service work.
Mr. Cook noted that Aiken has established the Neighborhood Cleanup campaign. The second in the series of neighborhood cleanups will be held in the Toole Hill subdivision Oct. 21.
Reach Rick Green at (803) 279-6895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.