Commission focusing on litter

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NAUGATUCK — Officials are hoping to put a little more bite into the litter ordinance.

Litter Commission Chairman and Burgess Rocky Vitale said the committee is reviewing the litter ordinance and looking at applying the maximum penalties allowed by state law.

Under the ordinance, the borough can levy a fine of up to $100 if a person is caught littering or dumping. Vitale said officials want to increase the fines to up to $219 per offence and up to $319 if the offence takes place on public land.

Once the commission has come up with proposed changes, it will have to bring those proposals to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses for approval.

While the commission continues to review the ordinance, it’s been proactive in the fight against litter by buying portable cameras to try and help police identify people littering.

The cameras, which were purchased out of the commission’s $1,000 budget, will be placed in the areas the commission feels has the highest concentration of litter, Vitale said. They will be used in conjunction with the cameras the borough purchased for the Naugatuck Police Department and placed in some streetlights in 2016, he said.

“If we have a problem we can put a camera there and we can catch anyone dumping,” Vitale said. “They take a series of photos that are good enough they will get license plates.”

The commission doesn’t just want to punish people after they have littered, it wants to prevent people from littering in the first place, Vitale said.

“The most important thing is education,” Vitale said.

Vitale said the commission is working on an anti-littering campaign that would include a poster contest at the elementary schools, posting flyers in the windows of local businesses, and holding public information meetings.

“Everything we can do to make our borough neat and clean counts,” Vitale said.