Do you know what really grinds my gears? Litterbugs. Do you know what made those gears grind today? A litterbug. I was going through a drive-thru at lunch for an ice-cold Coke when the person in front of me threw her garbage out of her driver side window, into the restaurant parking lot. She then rolled up her window and drove off.

Not only do I have a problem with unconcerned people using the planet as their personal trash can, but it's also illegal. After a quick Google search, I got some information about littering laws in North Dakota. Here is what I found on

1.    A person may not discard and abandon litter, furniture, or major appliances upon public property or upon private property not owned by that person, unless the property is designated for the disposal of litter, furniture, or major appliances and that person is authorized to use the property for that purpose.

Terms Used In North Dakota Code 23-29-05.1

  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Person: means an individual, organization, government, political subdivision, or government agency or instrumentality. See North Dakota Code 1-01-49
  • Property: includes property, real and personal. See North Dakota Code 1-01-49

2.    A person may not engage in the open burning of solid waste, unless the burning is conducted in accordance with rules adopted by the department.

3.    A person violating this section is guilty of an infraction for which a minimum fine of two hundred dollars must be imposed, except if the litter discarded and abandoned amounted to more than one cubic foot [0.0283 cubic meter] in volume or if the litter consisted of furniture or a major appliance, the offense is a class B misdemeanor and the person is subject to the civil penalty provided in section 23-29-12.

Beyond it being illegal to litter, it's also disappointing that people trash the place they live. No matter what your personal beliefs are about the impact on the environment, it's obviously disgusting and disrespectful to throw trash wherever you please. If we want to keep Bismarck-Mandan beautiful, we all need to do our part to keep it clean.

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