Wythe County Seal Trans Background

WYTHEVILLE, Va. – Wythe County code enforcement officer A.B. Dunford says his department is ramping up their litter enforcement.

The announcement comes just weeks after a conviction that resulted in a $1,000 fine for an individual found guilty of illegally disposing of his trash.

Dunford says littering in Wythe County has been a problem in the past and this year, officers are taking a hardline stance when it comes to offenders.

“Littering is a serious crime. It is a class–1 misdemeanor and an officer can arrest you for it. The penalties for littering could be as severe as up to 12 months in jail,” said Dunford.

According to the veteran officer, even what had previously been deemed as a minor infraction – such as flipping a cigarette butt out a window – can result in a $250 minimum fine.

Last year, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office launched a program in which inmates at the regional jail are assigned a section of highway in the county to clean, each week. To date, inmates have collected several tons of litter; however, program leaders often complain that many of the roads are lined with trash within days of the sweep.

“We’re specifically putting a great emphasis on catching those who litter the roadsides, as well as illegal dumping,” said Duford.

Wythe County leaders say the natural beauty of their community is unrivaled and are encouraging local citizens to offer a hand in ensuring it remains a place where thousands of visitors retreat to each month.

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