Litter sweep nets 60 charges

CHARLES TOWN — Sixty criminal charges and 120 warnings were issued by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources police during a litter sweep last month.

The charges included no proof of mandatory disposal, creating or contributing to an open dump, open burning of refuse, and littering.
The Jefferson County Magistrate Court could not comment on how many cases were processed through its office.
The sweep included eight counties and resulted in the issuance of dozens of criminal charges, citations and warnings.
“The sweep was designed and organized to target solid waste, littering, and illegal burning violations,” said Capt. Roy Cool, DNR District 2 in Romney.
DNR officers filed solid waste charges in all eight District 2 counties, including Jefferson, Hampshire, Berkeley, Morgan, Grant, Pendleton, Mineral, and Hardy.
Lt. Tom Stuckey said the DNR would follow up on the warning citations.
“We will follow up over a 30- to 60-day period to make sure they are in compliance. If they aren’t they will also be charged,” Stuckey said, adding all of the charges are misdemeanors.
Stuckey said according to state law there are only two ways of disposing garbage. One is to be signed up for a trash service and another is to provide receipts from a landfill. Otherwise, a person could be cited for illegal litter disposal, he said.
Numerous charges were made on illegal burning.
“Burning anything other than leaves, brush and yard debris is illegal,” Stuckey said.

Cool said county solid waste authorities, waste disposal haulers and citizens were very appreciative of this enforcement endeavor by the DNR.

Citizens are encouraged to report littering and solid waste violations to the local natural resources police officer or the District 2 office at 304-822-3551.

Stuckey said the DNR plans a litter sweep regularly.

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