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Borough Adds New Fine for Cigarette Littering

The borough will now fine anyone littering a cigarette butt $100.

The voted on Tuesday to add an ordinance that would fine anyone caught littering a cigarette butt $100.

“Right now there’s a complete disregard for our littering ordinance,” said council president Holly Brown.  “I see no harm in this ordinance.”

The new rule doesn’t actually create a new ordinance; it simply adds tobacco products to the list of things covered by the borough’s littering laws.

“Enforcement really isn’t the issue,” Brown said.  “It’s more about the message.”

Borough council member Tom Paxson added, “We need to do something because the cigarette and gum problem downtown is getting out of control.”

FED UP August 16, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Get rid of the late night,drunken mob scene and maybe you will get rid of the cig.littering. Or maybe make the store owners keep the area near their store fronts cleaned up ?
Jay Franklin August 16, 2012 at 05:10 PM
How can you get rid of the late night drunken mob scene ? Lol my friend, doesn't make a difference if you like it or not, West Chester Borough thrives on the late night scene drunk or not. Plus its not only during the night time that this is happening. All throughout the day people are littering and not just cig butts. So... Whats the solution to this problem ? Well you can fine individuals that get caught tossing their cig butts on to sidewalks and streets. Won't stop the problem right away but maybe in time it will have some sort of impact. More extensive street cleaning perhaps ? Well with the narrow streets and amount of limited parking space street cleaners are limited to what they can clean. Holding Business owners responsible is kinda of tricky . It's all about property line . If a business has a permit to extend to the curb of the street than they should be held responsible for the up keep . If they don't then it is up to the Borough to maintain the up keep . But I see an opportunity in that. If the Borough is going accept responsibility than they are going to need more on hand employees to perform such cleanups. Meaning JOB OPENINGS ! Now to me that sounds like a "Win Win" situation.
Cathy Binder August 16, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Are there places for people to dispose of their nasty butts safely? You can't just put them in trash cans. I hate cigarettes, and I hate cigarette butts. But it is still legal to smoke them, and before we fine people for disposing of them there has to be a place to put them safely so they don't start a fire. Maybe there are adequate disposal places, I don't pay attention as a non-smoker.
Jay Franklin August 16, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Not really. Other than ash trays that's about it. Although there are a few places that have the cigarette butt disposal device that we have all seen but some only have 1 in the designated area.
FED UP August 16, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Create trash,so we can create jobs! That the answer ? Brilliant !!
FED UP August 16, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I think we ought to hire more police,so we can get the drunks out of town by 2::15,the Bars close at 2:00 and people are still hanging around making a lot of noise at 3:00 am. That is cause and affect. Create jobs. More Police for crowd control ?
Bilbo Baggins August 16, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Brilliant. First the Borough in their infinite wisdom changes the parking meter laws so they can give tickets to people coming to patronize West Chester businesses, and now they are creating a new ordinance to harrass smokers who patronize West Chester businesses. I don't smoke and I think its bullshit to do that. Maybe we should just stop patronizing West Chester. There are plenty of other nice places you can go that do not need payment to a parking meter, or worry about where a cigarette butt lands. Stupid liberals I bet.
Jay Franklin August 16, 2012 at 07:52 PM
And then what ? Lol You just don't like the night life scene . That's what that is . After 2am there are places that thrive hugely on business of these individuals that specifically stay open later just for them . Such as the Cheese Steak shop at Alibis, Buddy's Burgers, Riggtown pizza. By hiring more law enforcement to "get the drunks out" you risk assault or a small scale riot . These kids (and that is who i assume you are referring to ) don't care once they are inebriated and drunk and if they aren't destroying , breaking or vandalizing property there's nothing you can get them for except public drunkenness . Remember you choose to live in a college town that is growing rapidly. Just like these individuals choose to attend WCU and partake in these activities. More Police ? More problems ! It's not law enforcement that's needed. It's a non-lazy , unselfish local Gov't that's needed. The goal is to squeeze as much money out of those who bless Wc with their presence,time and most importantly their $ . Although Wc is one of the most wealthiest places in Chester County.
citizenknow August 16, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Littering of anything, cigarette butts included, is already covered under state law; I believe it's in the vehicle laws but that also applies to pedestrians as well. Writing this into the local ordinance just offers a lower level of enforcement for the police.
WCU Student August 17, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I am a a 22 year old, Non-smoking, Business Management Major Senior at west Chester University. Some valid point have been made above, and I am not disrespecting any of the opinions expressed above. However, I would like to express a student viewpoint to you all. Listen, in the USA it is the law that once you are 21, you are legally allowed to drink. It is also the law that establishments that serve alcohol can no longer do so after 2pm. It is not the students fault that the borough of West Chester allowed building permits, and businesses that serve alcohol to establish where they are located. Open your eyes, there are over 20 establishments in the "uptown" section of the borough (aka this excludes Jakes bar). If you take my advice and open your biased eyes you will see that on any given night the West Chester late night crowd is not JUST college students. There are a diversity of individuals ranging from college students, in-town residents, out of town residents (Exton, Downing town, etc), and those individuals who work at one of the establishments in town out for a drink. I have personally witness grown adults, well old enough to be my parents, walk out of Kooma, or Doc Marogan's, cigarette in hand or some other piece of trash, you can use your imagination, and deliberately toss it aside like it was nothing. The fact of the matter is college students get blamed for every incident in this town and specifically targeted.
WCU Student August 17, 2012 at 02:26 AM
It's funny though because I do not see the borough targeting the hispanic population or African American population located beyond Gay Street, or Matlack Street, who I have also witness openly selling drugs such as marijuana or coke to throw a few out there. However that is another debate for another day. Back to my point. Yes everyone, there are certainly more than enough "bad apples" when it comes to college students that blatantly litter their cigarette, or paper plate from a slice of pizza. By all means I would LOVE to witness a police officer stop them and write them a ticket for litters. Sadly though this will not happen. Why you my ask? Because the law enforcement in the town is either too busy busting underage drinkers down towards campus, or trying to control the crowds and make sure a fight does not break out. If a cop did see a individual litter, i guarantee he would write a public intoxication ticket instead of a littering ticket. The numbers don't lie. I've seen friends that get public intoxication tickets upwards of $250 fines. $100 vs $250, make an honest judgement to which you think that officer would make. If the borough is actually serious about this ordinance than they need to make a conscious effort to install cigarette disposal bins at numerous, and when i say numerous i mean 1-2 every block, locations. Otherwise, I can bet you there will be one or two smart people out there with the wits to challenge their fine due to the lack of disposable location.
Dana Seaman August 18, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Littering is littering. People need to be responsible for themselves. I don't think smokers have the right to say that they littered because there wasn't anywhere to throw their cigarette butt. I tell my kids to hold the trash until they find somewhere to throw it away. Business owners shouldn't be responsible for what their customers choose to do. I have seen people throw trash on the ground in front of trash can. Maybe an option can be that the litter bugs should do community service to get out of paying the fine.
Colleen August 18, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I am thrilled to hear that the borough will start seriously cracking down on litterbugs. My husband and I dine in downtown W.C. frequently and are disgusted at the amount of cigarette butts all over the place! I especially hate it when we are dining outside and someone walks through puffing away! It would be really nice if an ordinance is made, so that people may not walk through dining areas with lit cancer sticks. It would be nice to be able to enjoy our meal without obnoxious smoke in our faces! I realize that they have to smoke somewhere, but please people, have some respect for those who don't smoke.
Bryan August 21, 2012 at 01:51 AM
It's not your dining area lady it's called the sidewalk. Heh talk about obnoxious
Mel August 22, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Maybe smokers would like to enjoy thier cigarette without obnoxious people eating on the sidewalk....please people eating have some respect for those who smoke....what a stupid comment Colleen. Let me guess...liberal, right....because only your rights are important huh....typcial.
Gabriel Macy December 04, 2012 at 07:33 AM
I’m glad the Council voted for the new code of law. While some people are skeptical of its effectiveness, I think that it is at least sending a message to the litterbugs. If only all smokers would turn to green smoking, then the problem would no longer exist. Green smoking does not leave cigarette butts behind, and it is supposed to be better for the environment. One way is maybe to get the provision stores around the bars and restaurants to promote green smoking devices through discounts or promotions; a win-win situation!

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