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Williamson County will prosecute illegal dumping

An abandoned camper in tall grass
Brent Gentry
Provided by Brent Gentry
Williamson County Commissioner Brent Gentry shared photos from around the county showing trash in yards and on the side of the road.

Williamson County will be increasing fines and punishments for trash dumping and littering.

State's Attorney Marcy Cascio-Hale said the penalties may sound harsh - but are needed to deter illegal dumping.

"Your first offense, 250 dollars plus court costs, plus restitution, and that restitution is to pay for the people that have to come and clean up your mess. Not necessary. Second offense, five hundred dollars plus court costs plus restitution. Third offense will be the maximum, 750 dollars plus court costs plus restitution," Cascio-Hale said.

Cascio-Hale also announced an upcoming effort to clean up trash along the highways in southern Illinois. The first event will be held in September, where volunteers will work to pick up trash along Route 13 between Marion and Murphysboro.

Williamson County Commissioner Brent Gentry urged law enforcement to do more to prosecute illegal dumping - a problem the county has been battling for years - and also asked residents to help.

"I am pleading today to all residents of this county to keep their eye out for littering, illegal dumping, and if you see it, please call in their license plate to authorities, do not turn your head from this issue," he said.

Gentry said those who call in to report these violations will not their name or information shared.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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