North Carolina officials cracking down on litterbugs

Law enforcement officials say they see crime go up in places with a lot of litter on the ground.

In an effort to make North Carolina cleaner and safer, the state is launching a new campaign to remind everyone not to trash our treasure.

Some think the world has become people's trash can. In one neighborhood, someone apparently tossed a bag of garbage from their house onto the side of the street.

Law enforcement studies show litter can lead to the demise of a community.

"When you see trash, subconsciously people with criminal intent believe people in that area are not paying attention, they don't care perhaps for their property or possessions," said Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry. "Those areas seem to be more vulnerable to crime."

So the state and waste industries are putting up billboards to remind people to think twice before they throw out that bag, can, or cup.

If you don't have a passion to keep where we live clean, just know law enforcement is stepping up efforts to bust people. Littering tickets start at $250, plus court costs.

"Even a cigarette butt can be an expensive cigarette butt if you throw it out," said Lt. Jeff Gordon from the N.C. Highway Patrol.

The next time you start to toss something out the window, remember that here in North Carolina, people can turn you in. Now, there are more eyes than ever looking for litterbugs.

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