Apr. 8—POTTSVILLE — When warmer temperatures melted away the snowy remnants of winter, green grass and blooming flowers were only part of what was uncovered.
There was also garbage.
One noticeable area is on the south side of Route 209 in Mechanicsville between Pottsville and Port Carbon, where there are more than a dozen black garbage bags, some torn open and their contents spilled across the ground.
Many are visible from the road, but others are over a nearby embankment.
Port Carbon Borough Council President Scott Krater said the trash is near the borough but is actually in Mechanicsville.
Regardless, it's neither borough's responsibility.
"The boroughs do not take care of that as far as maintenance or plowing because it is a state road," Krater said.
He said if PennDOT is able to identify the person or persons who discarded the trash, Port Carbon police would file charges.
Ronald J. Young Jr., press officer for PennDOT's Engineering District 5 in Allentown, said that when highway cleanups are conducted by volunteers, the debris collected is placed alongside the road and picked up by PennDOT workers.
Young said this trash was apparently discarded illegally, as there were no recent cleanups in that area.
Where there is a cleanup, state crews will remove the trash provided it is on PennDOT's right of way. If not, it becomes the property owner's responsibility, said Sean Brown, district safety press officer.
Under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, littering or throwing items from a vehicle carries a fine of between $100 and $200, or $300 to $1,000 if the littering causes injury to someone or damage to a vehicle or property.
Littering fines are also doubled in designated "enforcement corridors."
Fines can also be imposed under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code dealing with scattering or depositing rubbish on public or private property.
Under Title 18, the first offense is a summary violation and carries fines of between $50 and $300, while the second and subsequent offenses are misdemeanor crimes with fines of between $300 and $1,000.
Municipalities can also enact ordinances dealing with illegal dumping that are enforced by their respective police departments.