Officials with the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District and the Scioto County Commissioners are stepping up efforts to enforce a zero tolerance policy when it comes to litter, open dumping and a number of other related environmental issues.
Last week, the Daily Times reported on a case in which someone disposed of a fast food bag by throwing it out a vehicle window on the ground. The person responsible appeared before Portsmouth Municipal Court Judge Russell Kegley on Monday morning.
Steve Hileman, environmental officer with the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District, issued a citation for the person to appear before the judge. The person responsible received a $100 fine and 25 hours of community service on the litter crew of the solid waste management district and paid court costs.
The district has staff that coordinate litter crews in Scioto and Lawrence Counties. The crews spend the day picking up litter from roadways in both counties.
Hileman’s job has him investigating a number of environmental issues in Scioto and Lawrence Counties. If he is able to identify the identity of someone caught violating the law, he can issue a citation, requiring them to appear before a judge to account for their actions.
In 2016, Hileman had 140 cases between both counties, which was less than normal because he was off work for six weeks, due to an injury. He said the majority of the cases dealt with open dumping or littering in a recycling container.
Placing items in designated recycling containers that are not accepted is considered littering in a recycling container. Once the litter is discovered, the contents can’t be used.
Hileman said the district has had a lot of people littering in their recycling containers.
He acknowledged there are a lot of people choosing to improperly dispose of garbage by throwing it to the side of a road or on the ground.
Hileman takes his job very seriously and wanted to let the public know he will be out investigating.
“We are at zero tolerance, on anybody that throws anything out a motor vehicle litter-wise,” Hileman said.
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste District allows people to call their office to leave tips to be investigated by Hileman.
“Anytime anybody sees anything, they are encouraged to get a picture of the license plate or write it down and turn it into the district to be investigated,” Hileman said.
Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District Director Dan Palmer said the district needs public participation in identifying those that open dump, litter or violate environmental laws. He said callers can remain anonymous.
“It’s atrocious the amount of litter that strewn throughout the county and the city of Portsmouth and this is unacceptable,” Palmer said.
Last week Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Bryan Davis referred to the amount of litter along some roads
in Scioto County to a third country.
For more information about the programs, activities or to report someone littering or open dumping call the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District at 740-532-1231.