NCSL Logo 2018 Online Democracy Award Winner
Skip to Content
The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF LAWRENCE TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM FOR ENFORCEMENT AGAINST ILLEGAL DUMPING.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
      SECTION 1.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person in the city of Lawrence, directly or indirectly, to dump, place, throw, deposit or discharge any refuse, rubbish, garbage, household goods, appliances or furniture, construction debris, landscaping debris, scrap, trash or other material of any kind on any way, public or private, appearing on the official map of the city of Lawrence, or within 20 yards thereof or on any land owned or controlled by the city.
      SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a person owning, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, any real property, including ownership of a right to pass and repass on a private way, in the city of Lawrence upon which any refuse, rubbish, garbage, household goods, appliances or furniture, construction debris, landscaping debris, scrap, trash or other material of any kind has been dumped, placed, thrown, deposited or discharged to fail to remove this material within 7 calendar days of receipt of a written notice from a police officer, code inspector or other officer or employee of the city of Lawrence duly authorized by ordinance or order of the mayor to remove and lawfully dispose of the material.
      SECTION 3.  The city of Lawrence may enforce section 1 by prosecuting criminal or civil actions in the housing court, superior court or the district court of Lawrence and may enforce section 2 by prosecuting civil actions in those courts. No action commenced as a criminal action shall be converted to a civil enforcement action except with the consent of the city.
      SECTION 4.  A person convicted of a violation of section 1 shall be punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 7 days or by both such fine and imprisonment.
      SECTION 5.  A person found responsible in a civil action for a violation of section 1 or 2 shall be required to pay a civil penalty of 3 times the amount, up to a maximum of $5,000, estimated or actually paid by the city to remove the dumped material from the property. The court may also issue other orders and injunctions to remedy the circumstances of each case.
      SECTION 6.  All fines and penalties collected for violations of this act shall be paid to the city of Lawrence. Notwithstanding section 53 of chapter 44 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city shall establish and maintain a Disposal Enforcement Fund into which all these payments shall be deposited. The city treasurer may invest money in the fund in the manner authorized by sections 55 and 55B of said chapter 44 and interest earned on the fund shall be credited to and become part of the fund. The city shall appropriate and expend amounts from the fund to finance the enforcement of this act, to remove improperly deposited material from the property subject to this act and to finance programs and personnel involved in the collection and lawful disposal of unwanted household goods generated by residents of the city.
      SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, July 7, 2016.