LEXINGTON, Ky. - People caught throwing trash, including cigarette butts, on the ground will be subject to a police citation under a recent change to how littering laws are enforced. Lexington officials announced their plans Wednesday for litter prevention and enforcement as part of a “pick it up” campaign.
Police Lt. Mark Brand says littering used to fall only under a criminal statute, and was difficult to prosecute.
“Now officers will be able, if they witness an offense, they’ll be able to cite the person on the civil ordinance and the offender would plead their case before the environmental board. They also have the option of picking up the litter and not getting a citation.”
Brand says the goal is not to write more tickets but to encourage people to take responsibility for their trash.
Citizens can also report littering through the city’s website, LexCall, or Bluegrass Pride. That information will be forwarded to the Sheriff’s department.
“The Office of Sheriff will run the vehicle registration and we’ll send a notice to that vehicle owner that their car had someone that was spotted littering in our streets,” says Sheriff Kathy Witt.
Bluegrass Pride currently receives about 300 complaints of littering in Fayette County each month.
Mayor Jim Gray says the city has reinstated a partnership between Community Corrections and the Division of Streets and Roads to allow non-violent offenders to pick up trash around the city.
Keep Lexington Beautiful is planning several spring clean-ups in coming weeks and will conduct its annual community appearance index on March 23rd.