People in Athens hope a new law helps keep their community a little cleaner.
They’re tired of people dumping some big pieces of trash in big creek.
People who live near Big Creek are dealing with items like a couch floating in the water!
"It just makes me sad that people would throw things like that in our natural waterways and if there's kids swimming right up there, and if they throw a couch...what else will they try to throw" says one neighbor, Gary Amerson, who lives near Big Creek.
Today, Alabama’s litter law is a little harder. It’s now a Class B misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and a $3,000 fine. Repeat offenders will also have to serve community service by picking up trash.
"I think they should be heavily enforced. if you're caught dumping large amounts of garbage or any garbage at all, throwing a beer can is one thing, but throwing a couch a completely other thing", Amerson.
Gary Amerson and another neighbor Kimberly Wood are a couple of the people who say enough is enough.
"It's not safe. children get off the bus there. So we have to worry about bees, wild animals, snakes and rats", says Wood.
WAAY 31 went down to Big Creek in Athens and spoke with neighbors who are furious about the littering problems. They told WAAY 31 that people from outside the community are coming to dump their trash and leaving a mess everywhere.
"It's been going on for 5, 6, 7 years now", says another neighbor Bob Reed.
The new penalties focus specifically on people throwing trash from their carbu t people living near Big Creek hope it’s enforced for ruining waterways and natural lands.
Wood also worries it gives people the wrong impression of their neighborhood and the age of people who live there makes them an easy target.
"Most of the people up here are older, disabled and aren't able to get down there and clean it", adds Wood.
One county commissioner told WAAY 31 the county plans on adding more trash bins in the area and are working on solutions to stop the littering.
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