If your plan is to fill up your vehicle with garbage and dump it somewhere in Greensboro, you might want to rethink that.

At the Greensboro City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 15, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to put some teeth in the anti-dumping regulations in Greensboro.

There were already criminal penalties in place for illegal dumping, but because it was a criminal offense the enforcement was cumbersome.  According to the city staff, the new civil penalties will streamline the enforcement process.

The new ordinance, “Civil Liability for Illegal Disposal,” sets a fine of $500 for the first offense of disposing of “trash, rubbish, hazardous wastes, and other unwanted items” on either public or private property.

The second offense and subsequent offenses will result in a fines of $1,000 for each occurrence.

This is a civil penalty much like a parking ticket, and “photographic evidence of the license tag and the make and model of the vehicle and the act of illegal disposing” is considered sufficient evidence for the civil penalty to be issued.

So not only is it a bad idea to improperly dispose of trash and such in Greensboro, it’s also not advisable to loan your vehicle to someone who has that in mind.

District 1 Councilmember Sharon Hightower explained that the new citywide ordinance was the result of illegal dumping issues in her district and District 2, represented by Councilmember Goldie Wells.

Hightower said, “This all started because Goldie and I have dumping issues in our districts.”

She added, “It is really not our residents. People from outside are coming into the city.”

Along with the new ordinance the Field Operations Department is in the process of setting up surveillance cameras at sites where illegal dumping is frequent.

The civil fines that are levied will be used to help pay for the cost of the cameras and enforcement.  The ordinance went into effect when it was approved by the City Council.