FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Several local agencies are joining forces to put end to Marion County’s ongoing littering problem.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Department officially joined forces with the Department of Natural Resources and the Marion County Solid Waste Authority during Wednesday morning’s Marion County Commission meeting.
Three sheriff’s deputies will spend ten hours a week helping the other two agencies with the county’s litter problem.
“They will be running on calls for service regarding environmental law issues such as illegal burning, people who do not dispose of their garbage properly, investigating dump sites to try to determine who may be responsible for the illegal dumping and while out on patrol they’ll be looking for individuals who are littering from motor vehicles,” said West Virginia DNR office Randall Kocsis.
Members of the Solid Waste Authority who are responsible for picking up the trash said having more law enforcement personnel added to the team will help with litter control.
“When the law enforcement is there people take it more seriously. As you can see, I’m not fitted out with a gun or body armor so I don’t want to go there and put myself in a dangerous situation,” said Tony Golden, the Litter Control Officer and Director of the Solid Waste Authority. “Law enforcement has citation authority and law enforcement behind it so it’s going to be a great help to this program.”
Law enforcement said the penalties for littering could be nearly $500 for throwing a cigarette butt out of a car window and $2,500 for an illegal dump.
Littering has been a recurring issue in Marion County in recent months, most notably with the arrest of Thomas Tucker, who was dubbed the “White Paper Bandit” after it was discovered he was responsible for littering and creating open dumps along the same stretch of road in the county for more than two years.
Tucker was arrested in March and pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to littering in the county earlier this month.