The City Council gave preliminary approval on Tuesday night to a pair of ordinances that increase the penalties for dumping in Paterson.
Under the new measures, the minimum penalty is $2,500 and the maximum is $10,000. Previously, the dumping penalty was “a fine not exceeding $2,000.”
“I’m asking for a strong legislation to attack and fight against those people that are coming into our town and dumping garbage in every area,” said councilman Alex Mendez. “We’re not playing around with this legislation.”
Municipal inspectors have often complained the penalties for dumping is too low. Those who are caught dumping are let off with a slap on the wrist, they have argued over the years.
Dumping is defined as depositing on any property or public space “litter, barrels, boxes, cans, bottles, glasses, papers or containers, broken or otherwise, susceptible of holding or containing liquids, or any junk, garbage, rubbish, live or dead vegetation, grass, leaves, trees, branches, stumps, building materials, soil, dead animals, offal or any other offensive or unsightly mailer.”
Council members often criticize mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration for lax enforcement of the municipal code.
“It’s a great initiative, council members, but I’m just questioning if it’s going to be enforced,” added council president Flavio Rivera.
Both measures were initially passed without opposition. They are expected to be enacted without opposition.
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