Littering in Louisiana - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Littering in Louisiana: What are the consequences?

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Litter costs Louisiana $40 million annually and taxpayers foot the bill. Over 600 litter citations were issued last year in the state, according to Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

And although there's never an excuse for littering, that's especially true in Calcasieu Parish, where residents have options for dumping. Because of it, enforcement is cracking down.

Just walking alongside a road, you can find litter anywhere.

"It's pretty much a problem all over the country and it seems to be a little bit worse here in the South for some reason," said Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Special Programs Manager, Jason Barnes.

Although litter comes in many forms, Barnes said cigarette butts are the most common. But even food qualifies.

"Well, a lot of people think if I'm done with an apple or I throw it out a bird or an animal can get it so I'm not really littering. But the way I always look at it is, when you have 30 people and they're all out eating apples, all of a sudden they throw it out together, now it's a problem. So, it's interesting what people interpret is litter and not litter," said Barnes.

Besides being an eyesore, litter affects our economy.

"We've actually had car companies wanting to come into the state, relocate, bring upwards of 1,200 jobs to the area. And one particular community in this state actually lost out to another state because of the litter problem in that area," explained Barnes.

But when it comes to bulk litter, residents have options.

There are two solid waste convenience centers in Calcasieu Parish. And according to Barnes, since they were built, they've actually reduced the amount of litter that they see.

"The public is really starting to utilize them more. We've also found illegal dumping and the large piles on the side of the road you see are decreasing," said Barnes.

The two dump sites are working well, according to Barnes. They're open five days a week and accept most things.

But for those who continue to dump, there are hefty penalties.

Littering penalties:

Those convicted of litter violations face between $175 and $1,000 in fines and up to eight hours in a litter abatement work program. Dumping violations can carry even more penalties and higher fines depending on the severity of the dumpsite and the damage to the environment.

- Simple littering can be trash flying out the back of a pickup truck and carries up to $175 fines and court costs.

- Intentional littering can be someone deliberately throwing trash out of a window onto the roadway and brings up to a $250 fine.

- Gross littering can be someone depositing large amounts of trash into a ditch or having an illegal dumpsite and carries $500 to $1,000 in fines.

- Each offense also carries up to eight hours in a litter abatement work program.

State penalties and enforcement: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/taxonomy/term/391/0

Report litterers: http://www.cppj.net/index.aspx?page=662

Keep Louisiana Beautiful Annual Conference, Sept. 19-20:  http://keeplouisianabeautiful.org/

Sept. 21 Beach Sweep: http://www.cityoflakecharles.com/egov/apps/document/center.egov?view=item;id=2545

Solid Waste Convenience Centers:

Public Works - East Public Works - West
East Maintenance Facility West Maintenance Facility

5500 B Swift Plant Road 2915 Post Oak Road
Lake Charles, LA 70615 Sulphur, LA 70663

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday - Monday
Closed: Tuesday and Wednesday

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • 'Upset' at CITGO cause of heavy flaring

    'Upset' at CITGO cause of heavy flaring

    Friday, July 20 2018 12:11 AM EDT2018-07-20 04:11:42 GMT
    (Source: CITGO)(Source: CITGO)
    (Source: CITGO)(Source: CITGO)
    An upset at the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery caused several unit shutdowns and flaring, according to CITGO Lake Charles Government and Public Affairs Manager, Dana Keel. Fenceline monitoring continues and there is no action required by the community at this time, said Keel. The cause of the incident is under investigation.  Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
    An upset at the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery caused several unit shutdowns and flaring, according to CITGO Lake Charles Government and Public Affairs Manager, Dana Keel. Fenceline monitoring continues and there is no action required by the community at this time, said Keel. The cause of the incident is under investigation.  Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Brad Vincent reef gets 4-acre expansion

    Brad Vincent reef gets 4-acre expansion

    Thursday, July 19 2018 11:46 PM EDT2018-07-20 03:46:41 GMT
    The reef named for his brother, Brad Vincent, a conservationist, is an artificial reef spanning 6 acres in Calcasieu lake, installed in 20-12. Now, it's getting a 4-acre expansion to better support marine life in the area.The reef named for his brother, Brad Vincent, a conservationist, is an artificial reef spanning 6 acres in Calcasieu lake, installed in 20-12. Now, it's getting a 4-acre expansion to better support marine life in the area.
    The reef named for his brother, Brad Vincent, a conservationist, is an artificial reef spanning 6 acres in Calcasieu lake, installed in 20-12. Now, it's getting a 4-acre expansion to better support marine life in the area.The reef named for his brother, Brad Vincent, a conservationist, is an artificial reef spanning 6 acres in Calcasieu lake, installed in 20-12. Now, it's getting a 4-acre expansion to better support marine life in the area.

    The beginning of an enhancement to the Brad Vincent Reef in Calcasieu Lake began Thursday.  "Calcasieu lake is one of the best fishing lakes along the Gulf coast. There's people from other states that come here because of our great habitat that we have," Rusty Vincent, Brad Vincent's brother, said. The reef named for his brother, Brad Vincent, a conservationist, is an artificial reef spanning 6 acres in Calcasieu lake, installed in 20-12. Now, it's getting a 4-acre ex...

    More >>

    The beginning of an enhancement to the Brad Vincent Reef in Calcasieu Lake began Thursday.  "Calcasieu lake is one of the best fishing lakes along the Gulf coast. There's people from other states that come here because of our great habitat that we have," Rusty Vincent, Brad Vincent's brother, said. The reef named for his brother, Brad Vincent, a conservationist, is an artificial reef spanning 6 acres in Calcasieu lake, installed in 20-12. Now, it's getting a 4-acre ex...

    More >>
  • Truck crashes into DeRidder coffee shop, flees the scene

    Truck crashes into DeRidder coffee shop, flees the scene

    Thursday, July 19 2018 9:21 PM EDT2018-07-20 01:21:33 GMT

    In the late evening hours of Wednesday, July 18, the driver of a yellow Ford F-150 is seen on security footage slamming the truck into the outdoor patio area of 'Downtown Grounds' coffee shop in DeRidder. The owner of the shop, Dolly Weldon says she checked her cameras after she got an alert on her phone from the motion sensors. Weldon says she would have been happy if the one responsible came forward and was honest about the situation. "You know, a lot of people don't realize...

    More >>

    In the late evening hours of Wednesday, July 18, the driver of a yellow Ford F-150 is seen on security footage slamming the truck into the outdoor patio area of 'Downtown Grounds' coffee shop in DeRidder. The owner of the shop, Dolly Weldon says she checked her cameras after she got an alert on her phone from the motion sensors. Weldon says she would have been happy if the one responsible came forward and was honest about the situation. "You know, a lot of people don't realize...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly