<img class="size-medium wp-image-53561 alignright" src="https:\/\/theenterprise.net\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/23\/2021\/06\/trash_1623754973-300x200.jpg" alt="" \/>Littering isn\u2019t just an eyesore that\u2019s harmful to the environment. It also can be detrimental to farming operations.\r\n\r\nAccomack County farmer Sands Gayle said he\u2019s witnessed lots of illegal trash dumping along roadways and in the fields that he farms.\r\n\r\n\u201cOn days that the public dumpsters aren\u2019t open, people will find a nearby back road and just throw it out,\u201d he lamented. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot of household trash. The problem is people just don\u2019t care.\u201d\r\n\r\nLittering causes a multitude of problems for farmers. Trash dumped on farms can get caught in machinery, resulting in costly repairs. It also can get mixed in with crops during harvest, contaminating the yield and causing the farmer to lose money.\r\n\r\nIllegal dumping also poses risks to livestock if they get tangled in trash or mistakenly ingest it while grazing.\r\n\r\nGayle said he tries to clean up what he can, \u201cbut if I end up stopping for every single piece of plastic I see, I doubt I\u2019d get anything done in a day.\u201d\r\n\r\nA new law taking effect July 1 is intended to curb Virginia\u2019s litter problem by doubling the minimum fine for illegal dumping from $250 to $500, with a maximum fine of $2,500. Violators also could face up to one year in jail or 10 hours of community service.\r\n\r\nDel. James Edmunds, R-Halifax, introduced the legislation and supported its passing.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe commend Delegate Edmunds for his leadership on addressing litter,\u201d said Ben Rowe, <a href="https:\/\/r20.rs6.net\/tn.jsp?f=0017Ng0j1OU4Qb3WlfDnhAlyCEpAxSYmxelqgcyq01PzYcTOTY1YepFTPeK4wyONOxoXYB_mPCXBBq01C6KOfOObSsxeJjtBmb_5xzxWNNmCSyEQwPTT1vywpNWfS2i2ZqeAolBr-d3nw0=&c=RaZOS4SsztUhqvCBredSvzx4m-UyuySPMTyqJ37E2631FzSOhqJ-ow==&ch=ASEO3sZqt2Wqtd4NMgAmlB0KYHvACO2vL-9XDg0Q6PzInkhw9YIl5g==&jrc=1">Virginia Farm Bureau Federation<\/a> national affairs coordinator. \u201cFor too long litter has posed a risk to the environment, farm equipment, livestock and crop quality. This new law will help ensure the minimum fine matches the impacts and risks of litter on farmers and deter littering in the commonwealth.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Virginia Department of Transportation has launched an anti-littering awareness campaign called \u201cVirginia is for Lovers, Not Litter.\u201d VDOT said it spends around $3.5 million annually cleaning up litter.\r\n\r\nGayle said he\u2019s pleased about the heavier fines and hopes more awareness will bring change.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think it\u2019s a good idea,\u201d he said. \u201cIf everybody\u2019s on the same page, it\u2019ll stop.\u201d\r\n\r\nYou can learn more about how littering affects farms by watching Virginia Farm Bureau\u2019s <a href="https:\/\/r20.rs6.net\/tn.jsp?f=0017Ng0j1OU4Qb3WlfDnhAlyCEpAxSYmxelqgcyq01PzYcTOTY1YepFTDDSSSxgEFxjl5qIppZRtY9r0bUMqPitZk6N3QpieVDLpBhAGL5m0gOKaTfLUE2mivTZ2p2FU-A2W73I3uKbfzHlI1Tn7VECxtgxDjcaA3QzY3lItH3JyPfifoxB9mOSoQeUFJg17Nr1&c=RaZOS4SsztUhqvCBredSvzx4m-UyuySPMTyqJ37E2631FzSOhqJ-ow==&ch=ASEO3sZqt2Wqtd4NMgAmlB0KYHvACO2vL-9XDg0Q6PzInkhw9YIl5g==&jrc=1">Real Virginia<\/a> television show in June. Real Virginia airs nationwide at 3:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month on RFD-TV on Dish Network and DirecTV, and on selected cable outlets around the state. It airs weekly on WBRA digital channel 15, WHRO Norfolk, WVVA Bluefield, and WTKR Norfolk, and on the first and third weekends of each month on WVIR Charlottesville and WRLH Richmond.