Selectmen looking to fine litterbugs

Littering in Plympton will come with a $1,000 fine for the first offense if Town Meeting voters in May approve a bylaw amendment being sought by selectmen. The board last week voted unanimously to put an article on the warrant calling for the hefty fine for those who toss trash illegally.  “We had something on the books, but it wasn’t enforceable by the police and there was no fine attached. This one has both of those things,” said town coordinator Dale Pleau. “If a law is going to be effective, it needs to have some teeth.” Fines for subsequent offenses have not been determined. Selectmen discussed the matter a couple of weeks ago when Selectman John Henry talked about how he regularly has to pick up garbage along Main Street. They asked Pleau to look into the Massachusetts General Laws and report back to the board last week, which he did, saying that municipalities can charge fines of up to $5,500 for a first offense. “I think we all agree that $1,000 is a strong deterrent,” Pleau said. The town currently has a bylaw that prohibits littering, but there is no monetary penalty specified for infractions.