On Friday, the Scioto County Commissioners declared war on litter and those causing it. The commissioners stated this is an issue that’s gone on way to long and now is the time to deal with it.
“It’s an embarrassment when these kind of things (places where someone has dumped trash or tires on the side of the road are found. Wherever you drive in Scioto County you’ll find trash, and it seems to be getting worse,” said Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis. “People just throw their trash out the window (of a vehicle), they have illegal dumps. There’s been illegal dumps found at the township level and tire dumps are a big problem.”
Davis said in conversations with Lawrence Scioto County Solid Waste Management District Director Dan Palmer, the same issues are in Lawrence County.
“I’ve seen pictures where people are dumping (trash) in cemeteries. We’re seeing a lot of this and it’s such an embarrassment when people come from out of town. Could you imagine if you were an employer coming into town and all you see is trash long the roadways,” Davis said. “In talking to Dan, we’ve put our full backing behind his efforts.”
Davis pointed out the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District has an enforcement officer that has the ability to bring people before a judge among other avenues of enforcement.
“We have an enforcement officer and we have people out every single day, picking up litter. We’ve found mattresses abandoned by dumpsters, we’ve found furniture and all kinds of things,” Davis said. “Our people are being exposed to bed bugs; they’re being exposed needles and all kinds of dangerous situations.”
Davis said part of the overall issue may be presentation. He said even the smallest of things thrown on the ground is considered litter and carries stiff penalties if caught.
“What you’re doing is making your trash someone else’s problem and we don’t need that,” Davis said. “We’ve been enforcing (litter and dumping laws) and there is going to be more examples set, because this should not be happening and cannot happen in the future.”
Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree said the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District is working to catch those breaking the law and make them accountable for their actions.
“We all want to make our community look better, this (prevention and removal of litter) is something we have to do. We have to send a message to those open dumping and littering, this is something we’re not going to tolerate,” Crabtree said.
He said of the overall issue people not being taught, littering is a bad thing and you should not do it. Davis said it’s important for people to be vigilant when they see someone littering.
Scioto County Commissioner Doug Coleman said on multipul occations he’s went out with a litter collection crew to pick up trash.
“It’s just terrable, our county has got to be clean. If you have a clean county people will have more respect for it,” Coleman said.
Townships said there are a number of townships that have crews picking up litter.
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District has a recycling program in place in which a large number of items can be disposed of properly.
Acceptable recyclable items include, papers (newspaper, office paper, magazines); aluminum cans (beverage cans); steel cans (soup cans, etc.); plastic # 1 (beverage bottles); plastic # 2 (milk & juice jugs, liquid detergent bottles, trash bags, etc.
For more information about the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District visit, www.lsswmd.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT