The Scioto County Commissioners have declared war on litter. The commissioners pledged to start cracking down on those that believe Scioto County is their trash can.
“On Cockles Run Road, one county road, 1,300 pounds of trash was collected in one day,” said Bryan Davis, Scioto County Commissioner.
Nearly every day, in Scioto County Jeff Crippen, Litter Control Crew Supervisor, takes a crew out to county routes to clean up litter.
“I know there have been some efforts at Peach Orchard. The township has taken into their own hands and have called a sheriff deputy up and they’re going after them. They found the trash, they founds bills in the trash and are taking them to court,” Davis said.
Davis said the only way to reverse this trend is, for residents to take more pride in their community.
“Until we change the attitudes and the lack of pride in our community and people stop throwing trash out their car windows, this is going to continue. There’s a lot of efforts being made to clean places like this up,” Davis said. “If you are one of those that abuse the recycle dumpsites, throwing mattresses, cabinets from your house, we are going to find out who you are and you will be prosecuted”
Davis along with Scioto County Commissioners Mike Crabtree and Doug Coleman said litter and open dumping, is something that can’t be tolerated any longer.
“This has got to end. People have got to start taking more pride in their community,” Davis said. “I know when I was little, I threw a piece of gum out our car window and my dad made me find it in six inches of grass. I’ve never done it since.”
Davis said some efforts are being made in area schools to teach the importance of not littering.
There are 414 miles of county roads in Scioto County and one concern Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman has expressed is starting to cut grass.
Opperman asked the Commissions if some efforts could be made to pick up, some of the trash along the roadways before mowing season starts. Otherwise this crews will have to their best to cut the grass with the litter inside it.
Coleman asked for a letter to be sent to Portsmouth Municipal Judges Steve Mowery and Russ Kegley asking them to impart stiffer penalties to those brought before them on litter charges.
“Our guys are out there every day trying to pick this up, but it’s being thrown out faster than they can pick it up,” Davis said. “People need to understand Scioto County or the city of Portsmouth is not your trash can.”
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) commissioned a statewide study on litter.
The report states, on average 475 pounds of litter were deposited annually per mile on all roads combined, interstate, U.S. routes, state routes and county roads.
The total annual estimated roadside litter in Ohio-for all road types and interchanges included in the study is 11,772 tons.
According to the study the largest part of the litter is alcoholic beverage containers which equates to 2,137 tons of litter each year. Auto parts account for 2,084 tons a year. Food equates to 482 tons of litter, fast food equates to 475 tons a year and cigarette butts equates to 422 tons of litter a year.
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. 228, or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.