City Council President Proposes New Park Litter Ordinance

Trash piling up at Omaha parks is disturbing one city councilman. Now, Pete Festersen says he has a plan to fight it.

On a typical Sunday afternoon, we often see families and kids playing in parks, tossing a baseball and grilling out. But what about when the meal's over and it's time to throw away the trash?

Not everyone wants to play by the rules, and not all the waste is making it into the cans. In some cases, there's not even a place to put the garbage.

"I've been picking up trash all day. Unfortunately I will say though, the garbage cans were almost full when we got here, so it makes it difficult," said park-goer Josephine Garcia.

City councilman Pete Festersen says it's time to snuff out the stink of the litterbug and raise littering fines to $250. Festersen tells WOWT 6 News it's about keeping everyone accountable, and making sure everyone cleans up when they're done.

"We do want to have an ordinance that has some teeth," Festersen said. "By raising the mandatory minimum fine we think it helps with that. But certainly the message is about everybody pitching in to keep them clean."

So while facing fines or even possible jail time, park-goers say it all boils down to personal responsibility.

"I think everybody before they leave the park should gather up and make sure the park is clean for the next family that wants to come out here to enjoy the park," said park-goer Linda Towell. "It is a beautiful park and it should be clean."

Festersen's ordinance will have a first reading before the rest of the council at the weekly meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

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