A special inspection squad will patrol the Georgian capital’s streets, fining violators, sparing no one - not even tourists
Littering in Tbilisi will become a thing of the past, as starting today, 3 April, squads of people wearing black jackets will patrol the capital’s streets, watching out for litterbugs – both individual citizens and businesses – and fining them.
The ‘black jackets’ are inspectors from the Tbilservis group, the capital’s beautification and improvement agency. There are twenty in total, and for some time to come they will only patrol Tbilisi’s central areas and major tourist attractions. No fines are going to be handed out in the next two weeks, as the inspectors will only go so far as to admonish and warn the offenders.
Once the fines eventually come, they will do so with a vengeance. Anyone who leaves or throws under 2 kilograms of litter in a public place – be it a mere cigarette butt, a plastic bag, food waste, pet feces etc. – will be liable to a GEL 80 fine. If the litter is thrown from a building, the fine will increase to GEL 100.
For 2 kg of litter or more, the fines will be GEL 150 (if thrown in a street) and GEL 500 (if thrown from a building).
Citizens who don’t clean up after their pets will be expected to pay a fine of GEL 50 although the ticket can be revoked as soon as they dispose of the waste.
There are special penalties envisaged for car tyre dumpers: one to five tyres left in a public place carries a fine of GEL 150, while dumping more than five tyres will cost an individual GEL 500. The regulation does not extend to bicycle tyres.
Pollution through what qualifies as hazardous waste is punishable with fines of GEL 400 and GEL 1000 for individuals and legal entities, respectively.
The fining scheme takes effect on 17 April.
The inspectors will be moving around the city on foot, primarily focusing on pedestrians. However, this does not mean they won’t keep an eye on motorists as well. So, seeing a driver throw a cigarette butt out of their car window, an inspector will alert policemen to the fact, leaving it up to them to issue a ticket to the offender.
The inspectors will carry photo and video cameras to record littering violations, which will leave litterbugs little chance for dodging a ticket.