City Council sets hearing for increasing party litter penalties

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by Christina Strong
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

The East Lansing City Council at its meeting on March 15 set a public hearing to amend part of the Code of the City of East Lansing to enforce stricter penalties for party litter.

“The penalties have been low enough and enforcement hasn’t been as effective as we need it to be,” said Kevin Beard, East Lansing City Council member. “It will allow us to track repeat offenders, the party litter ordinance; it will allow us to issue a citation after a warning has been issued. It will allow us to fine at a level that will discourage this type of behavior or at least encourage prompt cleanup.”

The ordinance was proposed to reduce the amount of party litter East Lansing faces during peak times such as during Michigan State University home football games.

The proposed amendments have received input from the University Student Commission, the Department of Public Works, Associated Students of Michigan State University and the East Lansing Police Department.

If the amendments are approved, they will have the most significant impact on MSU students.

“In the fall during a couple different home games we’ve had a group of volunteers get together on a couple of Sunday mornings and work their way through some of the close downtown neighborhoods picking up litter which is a great thing, but you can’t count on volunteers doing something like that, that should be done by the hosts of the parties,” Beard said.

However, some MSU students don’t believe the amendments will have any effect.

“I believe that no matter the penalty, people are going to litter because it’s easier to litter than clean up after a big party,” said Anna Slogor, a sophomore at MSU.

Other East Lansing residents agree.

“Good luck. I think it’s a good idea and it’s definitely something to look into. I don’t see how they are going to be able to enforce it they haven’t been able to do it so far,” said Thea Card, an East Lansing resident.

If no further input is received on April 5, the City Council will vote on the ordinance, Beard said.

Residents can voice their opinions at the public hearing on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall 410 Abbot Road East Lansing, Mich. 48823.

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