John Gessner with Rockford’s Department of Public Works says the new littering ordinance is one element in a comprehensive plan to keep the city clean and economically viable.
“It's helpful in the overall plan--we do have folks who litter, some who mistakenly litter, some illegal dumping we look into," says Gessner.
In the ordinance, litter is defined as any discarded, used or unconsumed substance of waste. The ordinance prohibits anyone from leaving litter on public and private property or in any body of water in the city. It also prohibits people from disposing of litter from any motor vehicle..
"When people are proud of their city, the city thrives--people want to come to the city, glad to be here. I've had visitors come to Rockford and comment about how clean the city is," says Gessner.
Tony Guzman is a sanitation enforcement officer. If litter is left on someone's property following a trash pick-up, he'll ask the resident to pick-up what's left over. If that doesn't work, the situation is brought to neighborhood standards.
"It will make it easier, hopefully. The word gets out, and maybe it will improve. People will watch how they put trash out, not loose by container," says Guzman.
Any person convicted of a violation would be fined between 100 and 500 dollars and ordered to perform up to 10 hours of public service. A second violation would cost between 100 and 750 dollars and up to 50 hours of public service. The ordinance goes into effect in 9 days.