ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An issue that goes beyond our road ways is drivers who throw trash from their car or dump it in your community.
NEWS10 ABC had to bring some trashed areas to the attention of local DPWs. Littering is hard to enforce, but clean up uses taxpayer dollars.
Plastic cups, an old princess dress, a faded Beauty and the Beast lunchbox were seen dumped along 2nd Avenue near the border of Colonie and Watervliet. Memories that are now turned debris.
“I’ve seen people toss things out of the car window. It’s frustrating because this is our planet and we have to take care of it,” Sarah Bowen said.
Old Loudon Road in Colonie is speckled by plastic bags. Each one filled with someone else’s trash.
“It’s incredible what people will do,” Colonie Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham said.
Cunningham had no idea of the makeshift dump yard Old Loudon Road has become. There was an old television, an arm chair, and even a row boat.
Resources to mop up are scarce.
“Residents that are frustrated with garbage nearby, once they contact us, it doesn’t get taken care of right away. It frustrates them it frustrates me but I do have to go through a process.”
In New York, littering is a $350 fine. It doubles on strike two.
Yet, litter bugs leave trails all over the Capital Region.
“Especially in downtown Troy, a lot of people do that. It makes the city look worse,” Paige Waters said.
“There’s litter everywhere and they need to make examples of people,” a Colonie man said.
Clean up of litter becomes a cost for everybody.
“It’s very unfortunate because this is done at taxpayers’ expense and it shouldn’t be. It’s very frustrating for us as a municipality that have to clean up after people that should be cleaning up after themselves,” Cunningham said.
Fines for littering in Massachusetts can reach up to $5,500 the first time. The second time, you could be fined up to $15,000!