BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — A revision to the current litter ordinance by Councilman Lamont Cole was passed before the Metro Council. Cole said the ordinance already in place was dated. 

“We’ve grown a lot in the last 10 years, more people brings about more litter,” said Cole. “The state was charging more, the city was charging less, the fines were extremely low. We wanted to bring it in alignment with the state statute.”

As a result, there is now a drastic increase in fines. Your fist time offense will now cost you $500 instead of $50. Cole hopes this will encourage citizens to do their part.

“Part of the challenge is while we do recognize the city has a responsibility to address it by picking it up, citizens have a responsibility to help keep the city clean,” said Cole.

Cole believes the increase will help create a cleaner Baton Rouge. It’s a process, but it will be enforced.

“The first step is changing the ordinance, increasing the fine, the next step will be law enforcement putting a plan in place to effectively address it.”

Cole said while some littering is still expected this is a step in the right direction. The new ordinance goes into effect on January 1st.

“When folks are egregious in their behavior, throwing cigarette butts out of the window, throwing trash out of the window. Fifty dollars is not a very large fine, 500 is, two hours of community service is not a lot of time to give, but eight hours is,” said Cole.