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Thursday, July 18, 2024


Upper Township Planning Big Hike in Fines for Illegal Dumping

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By Christopher South

PETERSBURG – The Upper Township Committee is moving to significantly increase the penalties for illegal dumping in the township.

The idea for raising dumping fines was introduced by Committeeman Curtis Corson at the Tuesday, Oct. 10 meeting; a proposed ordinance was formally introduced by the committee at its Monday, Oct. 23 meeting.

Corson said at the Oct. 10 meeting that there was illegal dumping taking place in the township, specifically at the end of Bailey Road. He said Bailey Road, which is hard to find on maps of the township, is 10 or 12 feet wide and partially paved before it turns into a gravel road.

Speaking on Thursday, Oct. 26, Corson said people are dumping everything from household waste to bulk items to construction debris.

Township Solicitor Anthony Monzo said at the Oct. 10 meeting that he believed illegal dumping was covered under state statute and carried heftier fines. The township committee introduced Ordinance 016-2023, Oct. 23, which carries penalties from $2,500 to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 90 days in the county jail.

The ordinance cites N.J.S.A. 40:49-5, which allows municipalities to set penalties for violating municipal ordinances, and specifically mentions the $2,500 to $10,000 fine for illegal waste disposal. Previously, the township could fine violators only up to $1,000.

In addition to the increased penalties, the proposed ordinance offers a reward of $1,000 for anyone assisting in the conviction of a violator, or who provides “significant assistance of the enforcement authorities thereof, resulting in conviction.”

Corson, who at the Oct. 10 meeting was visibly angered at the notion of illegal dumping, said he wanted to see the penalties raised, adding, “I don’t want to see people fined. I want them to stop.”

Municipal Clerk Joanne Herron said the township can issue a permit to township residents that allows them to dump 1,000 pounds per month at the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority landfill on Dennisville-Petersburg Road. The permits are free to township residents.

“So there is really no excuse for illegal dumping,” Herron said.

Corson said some of the violators might be coming from outside the area.

The second reading and public hearing will be held Monday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in township hall.

The second reading of Ordinance 017-2023 will also be held at that meeting, along with a public hearing. That ordinance prohibits the storing of inoperable vehicles on private property. The ordinance defines inoperable vehicles as those having had the engine, wheels or other parts removed, those with flat tires, or those that otherwise cannot be driven.

The description further includes defining characteristics such as vegetation growing on or in the vehicle, the vehicle’s being surrounded by tall grass, the vehicle’s remaining in the same spot for 15 consecutive days, or the vehicle’s not having license plates or having an expired inspection sticker.

“This presumption,” the ordinance reads, “may be rebutted by evidence that refutes the vehicle’s inoperability.”

The ordinance says no unregistered or inoperable motor vehicle, trailer, boat, recreational vehicle, heavy equipment or ATV “shall be parked, kept or stored on any exterior premises, and no vehicle or similar apparatus or equipment shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, [disrepair], or in the process of being stripped or dismantled.”

The ordinance goes on to say that the owner or occupant of a property is permitted to keep up to three unregistered or inoperable motor vehicles, or parts for them, in the rear yard of a property, provided the vehicles are part of an ongoing restoration process.

Contact the author, Christopher South, at or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.


Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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