Rahm Emanuel Backs $1,500 Littering Fine In New City Council Proposal Cracking Down On Trash

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Watch out litterbugs: tossing your trash by the wayside could soon cost you big bucks in Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently signed a letter supporting Ald. Howard Brookins’ (21st) proposed anti-littering ordinance which includes a maximum $1,500 fine for those caught tossing trash from their vehicle. ABC Chicago reports other fines would increase if the proposal clears the City Council. Minimum fines would jump from $50 to $150 and litterbugs older than 16 could have their cars towed as another penalty.

According to a letter to Brookins, NBC reports Rahm stated, “We all agree that trash belongs in a garbage can, not on the streets of Chicago.”

Despite the mayor’s support, the Sun-Times predicts the bill is headed for a dead-end after it was “considerably softened” from its original draft. In the earlier version, the ordinance called for the towing of every scofflaw’s vehicle if caught fly-dumping from the car; instead, the city would now have the “discretion to tow.”

“[The Department of Streets And Sanitation] raised some concerns that, if this thing were significantly enforced, they wouldn’t have the manpower to tow all of these cars,” Brookins told the Sun-Times. “It made sense to give law enforcement discretion.”

The bill heads to committee for a vote before it will be introduced to the City Council.

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