The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is cracking down on illegal dumping by nearly tripling fines for first offenders.

Constable Dan Lewis of the Cape Breton Regional Police says once snow has melted for the spring, it often reveals garbage on the ground in Glace Bay, N.S.

"Some of these sites are really bad… I mean... truckloads of materials."

Lewis has been heading-up illegal dumping investigations for the municipality for only a few months, but says he is shocked by the amount of waste he is finding in forests, lakes and streams.

CBRM is instating new fines of nearly $700 dollars for a first offence from the previous penalty of about $237 dollars.

The new penalty costs have been put in place after amendments were made to the city's solid waste resource management bylaw.

Education coordinator for CBRM Solid Waste Roschell Clarke says the municipality wanted to implement rules that would “have a little more teeth to it.”

The city says investigations have doubled and on top of fines, anyone charged may have to pay restitution for cleanups.

Officials say most of the discarded items they’re finding are collected curbside.

"There’s absolutely no excuse for illegal dumping,” says Clarke. “We have the programs available and we also operate our site here Tuesday-to-Saturday where people can bring in the materials."

The changes to the city's bylaw not only give CBRM the authority to slap offenders with bigger fines, but they also make it easier for the city's police to lay charges.

"The chances are pretty good that you're going to get caught. I work relentless at this and I don't appreciate going through other peoples' garbage,” says Lewis.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald