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Litterbugs sentenced, fined in county court

Residents use the recycling bins located in front of Walmart in Burlington Tuesday.

A plastic drinking cup is only worth about 50 cents — unless it’s thrown out of a car window in full view of a litter enforcement officer. Then it’s worth $100 plus court costs.

In a separate case, a garbage hauler who admitted filling up a recycling dumpster with dirty diapers pleaded guilty to a littering charge as well.

Matthew C. Kern, 18, of 156 Township Road 1157, Proctorville, pleaded guilty May 25 to littering. Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management Director Dan Palmer said on May 21, Litter Enforcement Officer Steve Hileman was in his vehicle at the intersection of State Routes 243 and 7 when he saw Kern throw a red plastic Solo cup out of his car window. Hileman pulled Kern over and issued a citation. Lawrence County Municipal Court Judge Donald Capper fined Kern $110 and ordered him to pay $100 in court costs.

On Monday, Jason A. White, 37, of 1050 County Road 9, Crown City also pleaded guilty to one count of littering. Palmer said White, who was hauling garbage, dumped the refuse that was supposed to go in a landfill in one of the solid waste recycling bins near the Lawrence County Fairgrounds in Rome Township.

“He dumped bags of used Pampers (diapers) in the recycling container,” Palmer said.

To determine who was responsible for the mess, Hileman waded into the dirty diapers and other refuse to find information on where the trash originated.

“I have big leather welding gloves I use,” Hileman said. “They come up to my elbow.”

Capper fined White $500 and ordered him to pay $110 in court costs. White also had to pay the cost of decontaminating the recycling bin, $106.42. Capper further sentenced White to 15 days in jail but suspended the jail sentence, placed him on a one-year probation and ordered him to serve 30 hours of community service.

“We are trying to get the message out that we will not have people dumping waste in the recycling trailers,” Palmer said.