A crackdown is coming for litterbugs.

From Dec. 31 to Jan. 7, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Highway Patrol, Lincoln County Solid Waste and Keep Lincoln County Beautiful, will conduct a countywide zero-tolerance litter campaign.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, the LCSO and the Highway Patrol will conduct checkpoints near convenience sites in the county and speak with citizens about unsecured loads and other littering offenses. Traffic stops will also be conducted for any littering violations witnessed.

Under North Carolina’s anti-littering law, intentional littering of 15 pounds or less is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 to $1,000 and up to 24 hours of community service. Unintentional littering of 15 pounds or less is an infraction that can result in up to a $100 fine and up to 12 hours of community service.

Patty Korn, who is the eastern Lincoln County community representative on the Keep Lincoln Beautiful board of directors, has made it her mission to make roadsides litter free. After training, the organization will become and official affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in February.

Korn cited an incident in Wisconsin where three Girl Scouts and an adult were killed doing litter pick up despite wearing high-visibility vests. She argues that enforcing litter laws does save lives and protects property.

“I’m very excited that the LCSO and the Highway Patrol are doing this litter campaign,” Korn said. “Hopefully it’ll keep the sides of the roads looking better and protect the volunteers that are doing roadside litter pickup.”

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