On Thursday morning, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Bryan Davis compared parts of Scioto County to a third world country because of the trash that lines particular roadways.
“It (the volume of trash aligning roads in Scioto County) looks like a third world country in some places,” Davis said. “The lack of pride in our community by certain individuals is appalling and there is no excuse for it.”
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District has dedicated staff to work on various issues such as roadside litter control, educational initiatives and environmental law enforcement officer that has jurisdiction in Scioto and Lawrence Counties.
The district has two people dedicated taking road crews out and do what they can to clean roadsides.
Director of the Lawrence Scioto Solid Wast Management District, Dan Plamer, said there has been a Scioto County Spring Cleanup scheduled. The event is not defined by a day, but rather when people are available to help in the effort
Palmer said to make the most impact during this event, an appeal is being made to area schools for assistance.
The district wants to let willing groups choose the area they wish to clean,
“We’re going to let you (participants) choose your location. The district will be there and will provide all of the bags, gloves, litter grabbers and security. We will see this will be safe and we’ll work with the sheriff or the police to assist us in this,” Palmer said. “We’ve got to do something (to further address litter in Scioto County), it looks horrible to me.”
Palmer said if your group wants to participate and does not have an area in mind, the district will pair you with one.
To highlight the severity of open dumping in Scioto County, Davis said a recent example of someone open dumping, the enforcement office for the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District caught someone throwing a fast food restaurant bag out of their car and onto the side of the road. That person was issued a citation and is scheduled to appear before a judge later this week.
Davis said litter can also become an economic development issue.
“We have people coming to look at our area to look for jobs, economic development or people looking to move here,” Davis said. “We have doctors and lawyers that want to set up shop here. They come here and see this (litter) and some are turned away by it.”
Davis explained the county is not the only looking to deal with this issue.
“As heroin is a problem in the state, so is litter. I think both problems are connected in a way, people don’t care,” Davis said.
Davis said why people choose to litter is an attitude issue
“I would appeal to those that think the side of the road is their personal trash can, to think otherwise,” Davis said.
Palmer said if any kind of progress is going to be achieved on combating the litter issue, it will take everyone participating in events like the Scioto County Spring Cleanup.
“I can’t emphasize enough, we need the public’s support if we’re going to address this. If we’re going to address open dumping, littering and tire problem, we need help,” Palmer said.
He said the county will continue with their efforts to combat the issue of litter. He said the staff of the Lawrence Scioto County Solid Waste Management District will continue their efforts, in addition.
“They (staff of the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District) are fighting a war,” Davis said.
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District has a free recycling program and have placed a number of containers throughout Scioto and Lawrence Counties.
For more information about the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District programs, services or to report someone active dumping call 740-532-1231.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter