Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City plans new fines to squash litterbugs

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ANYONE who dumps a lot of garbage illegally in Winnipeg will soon pay larger fines, as the city is planning to hit the worst offenders hardest.

Monday, councillors will consider a new fine structure for littering and illegal dumping in which anyone who drops a cigarette butt or gum wrapper will get dinged for $100. But dumping actual garbage on the ground will cost you $600 to $1,200, and illegally depositing furniture, appliances, car parts or construction waste will set you back $2,000 to $4,000.

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Under existing laws, the fine for dropping a coffee cup was the same as the penalty for illegally dumping a truckload of garbage -- $300, with an early-payment option of $150.

The new fees are intended to serve as a stronger deterrent, said St. James-Brooklands Coun. Scott Fielding, city council's protection and community services chairman.

"The city's taking a zero-tolerance approach with these types of offenders," Fielding said. "If you're going to dump illegally in our community, then you're going to pay for it, period."

Pending council approval later in May, anyone who litters small items such as gum will face a $100 fine, with an early payment option of $50.

The illegal dumping of any garbage other than litter will cost individual offenders $600 and corporations $1,200. Accumulating garbage of this sort will result in the same penalty. Early payment will cut those fines in half.

What the city describes as "large-scale dumping," will cost individuals $2,000, while corporations will face a minimum $4,000 fine. Dumping garbage from a car will result in the same penalty. There will be no early-payment discount for this offence.

There is one offence, however, that will be punishable by a smaller fine under the changes. Spitting, which currently nets a $1,000 fine, will only cost you $100 under the new regime.

-- Bartley Kives

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 A7

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