April is Litter Enforcement Month
April is recognized as Litter Enforcement Month in and around the Washington metropolitan region, and the Montgomery County Police Department is once again participating in the Alice Ferguson Foundation and Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s 4th Annual Litter Enforcement initiative for the month of April.
During this time police officers, along with many other local law enforcement agencies, will be focused on identifying litter violations and enforcing the applicable criminal, traffic, and civil statutes. Citations may be issued when violations of littering and dumping laws are observed.
Anti-littering and dumping laws can be found in Maryland State law, Maryland Motor Vehicle law, and the Montgomery County Code and are summarized below:
- Maryland State law CR 10-110 provides the stipulations against disposing or dumping of items under 100 pounds, over 100 pounds, and over 500 pounds. Littering or dumping of items under 100 pounds is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and/or up to a $1,500 fine. Items weighing 100 to 500 pounds carry a penalty of up to one year and/or up to a $12,500 fine. Items over 500 pounds carry a penalty of up to five years and/or up to a $30,000 fine.
- Maryland Motor Vehicle Law 21-1111 states that it is illegal to drop or place an injurious substance on a roadway. It is also illegal to throw, deposit, or discharge refuse from a vehicle onto the roadway. A citation for throwing any type of trash can result in a fine of up to $140 and two points. If the littered substance contributes to a traffic collision, it may result in a fine of up to $180 and three points.
- Montgomery County Code, Chapter 48, Section 11 provides both criminal and civil violations against dumping or littering on property and roadways. A criminal violation carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. A civil violation carries a fine up to $500 and a fine up to $750 for a repeat offense.
The Montgomery County Police Department encourages the public to report violations of anti-littering and dumping laws by contacting the police non-emergency number at 301.279.8000. The Department welcomes the assistance of the community in helping to achieve the goal of a trash-free Montgomery County.