Residents frustrated with roadside litterbugsBy TIM GETER,
The roadsides of Scott County, in much of the public view, have become a rubbish heap.
While litterbugs are discarding their trash out the windows of their vehicles, residents are spending their time trying to keep their property lines clean, which for some is along the edge of the same highway.
“We have picked up 15, 30 gallon bags of trash up and down my road, as far as a football field in one day,” Roger Chambers a county resident said.
Chambers also said that coming out of Forest on Highway 35 South both sides of the highway “look awful, like a garbage dump.”
Other residents, like Chambers, are aggravated with how the state and county roads are collecting trash.
“Every week I have to pick up trash along side of the road in front of my house,” Jimmy Franks, a resident along Highway 35, said.
“Everyday I am having to fill up a 14 gallon bag, it gets so aggravating especially when I am picking up trash when someone drives by and right in front of me throws out a can.” Franks also said that he is constantly picking up bottles and food wrappers.
Pick-up trucks with an open bed and those pulling trailers can also lead to trash being on the road if items are not secured properly.
“I see feed sacks and other trash that is blowing out of trucks and trailers coming down the road,” Franks said.
County officials however, say they are doing what they can to make the side of the roads more appeasing to the eye.
“We are doing what we can to keep our county roads cleaner,” Board of Supervisors President Steven Crotwell said. “We are back to using trustees and they have been a big help in keeping the roads clean.”
Public relations official of Mississippi department of transportation, Jason Scott said, “When we start mowing along side of the roads it is part of the crews responsibility to pick up the trash on the side of the roads.”
Scott also said that their are several programs in place for the public to help keep the roads clean. For example, “Adopt-a-Highway is one that civic groups and other groups can be a part of,” he said.
“When groups volunteer to adopt a highway or any of the other programs we have, MDOT provides all the personal protection equipment such as gloves and safety vests. We also provide them with bags,” Scott added.
Scott also said that when the groups are finished picking up the trash then they can put the bags next to an Adopt-a-Highway sign and later that day a crew will bring a truck and trailer to remove the bags.
It cost a lot of money to keep road sides clean. “ Three million dollars every year is spent on keeping the litter picked up,” Scott said. “This is money that could be used for the maintenance of roads and bridges, if people would help keep the litter off the roads.”
Littering can also be very expensive to a violator, if caught, and can cause one to spend hours of community service cleaning the roads.
According to Mississippi Code 97-15-29, if a person is found guilty that person can be fined up to $250.