City seeks solutions to trash
By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on March 8, 2004 1:57 PM
Overflowing dumpsters, litter-lined roads and trash piles are common sights in Goldsboro and elsewhere in Wayne County.
The Goldsboro City Council has expressed concern about the city's trashy appearance.
Councilman Jimmy Bryan said he knew that there wasn't one answer to the problem, but that it would probably take a combination of things. One consistent eyesore, Bryan said, was the amount of trash on Royall Avenue.
"It's not the only street, but we need to do something about it," he said.
Councilman Bob Waller asked City Manager Richard Slozak if he could get the prisoners out to pick up the trash on Royall.
"I know we're developing a plan to deal with these problems," Waller said. "But we need to get some things done as soon as possible."
The first step the city is taking to rid itself of litter-lined streets is buying a special vacuum that will suck trash from up to 30 feet off the road.
City Manager Richard Slozak said that he's getting the price information on the machine and expects to order it this week.
That will help clean up streets like Royall Avenue and Slocumb Street.
The city is also planning to partner with the county on the Spring Litter Sweep and with Keep Wayne County Beautiful on other projects like Adopt-A-Street.
Mayor Al King said the council is determined to get the city cleaned up.
"It won't be overnight, but we have started," King said. "Give us a little time for it to be the beautiful city it once was."
Another program that Slozak suggested to the council that could help clean up the city is the "Adopt-A-Street" program. It differs slightly from the state-sponsored "Adopt-A-Highway" program in that it targets smaller areas, closer to where people live.
The purpose is to encourage community residents and organizations to adopt residential blocks of streets and keep them litter-free. The adopted areas are to be cleaned once a month in an effort to maintain a healthy environment and to produce feelings of pride in the city.
"It's like neighborhood watch," Slozak said. "Neighbors help neighbors, trying to keep the area clean."
Slozak said he would like for the city to form a partnership with Keep Wayne County Beautiful to get the Adopt-A-Street program started. Once groups or individuals agree to adopt a mile or more of city streets and keep them clean, the city could provide organizational help, clean-up supplies, and street signs that announce the Adopt-A-Street sponsors.
The Adopt-A-Street program is a means to involve the community as volunteers in an effort to keep Goldsboro streets clean.
Though the Adopt-A-Highway program is sponsored through the state transportation department, Keep Wayne County Beautiful is trying to help by getting more groups to volunteer to clean the roadways.
"Recently much attention and support has been given in regard to litter, unsightly areas, and enforcement," said Simonne Cato, executive director of KWCB. "Change is coming. But we must continue our three-prong approach: Education, enforcement and community involvement. These links work best when done together.One link cannot be missing or broken. So we need to continue a proactive approach."
KWCB is sponsoring an incentive program to encourage more Adopt-A-Highway groups.
The organization will give, in a drawing, seven $500 bonus checks in different categories to various groups that qualify. The categories include: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts , Church Youth Groups, Middle Schools, High Schools and other youth groups.
Participants must be 12 years or older.
The requirement is to adopt a state road, clean up on a quarterly basis, and participate in both Litter Sweeps.
There must also be groups in each category in order for a drawing to take place. No group will be awarded more than once until all eligible groups have had a chance to be awarded $500.
Ms. Cato said KWCB saw it as a way to increase participation in the Adopt-A-Highway program, and providing a means for non-profit organizations to raise money.
It's taken more than six months, but the council has nearly completed its review of its new zoning ordinance. After the Planning Department implements the revisions into the document, the council will hold a public hearing before approving the new ordinance.
In its review, the council has tried to strengthen the ordinance to cut down on problems with trash.
One thing was to require a fence around commercial dumpsters on three sides, with a gate in the front.
"Dumpsters should have something built around them with a door so that trash can't get out and around the dumpster,"City Councilman Chuck Allen said.
The council has also tightened up sign requirements for businesses, and landscape requirements for commercial places. In addition, the board asked for stricter regulations of open storage of materials, and putting up screening where open storage is allowed.
City Councilman Charles Williams said that the changes coming in the new ordinance will be good, if they are enforced.
"All efforts are futile if we don't enforce the ordinances," he said. "We have to be firm across the board, without regard to person. No one excepted."
All city and county residents are invited to participated in the spring litter sweep. Corporations and businesses, county and city officials, civic groups, churches, youth groups and individuals are being asked to participate. Participants will meet at the Wayne County Courthouse at 8 a.m April 17, on the Ormond Street side. Transportation will then be provided to designated areas for clean up. Safety vests, bags, pick-up sticks and latex gloves will be provided. Everyone will be brought back to the courthouse for a box lunch and a brief closing ceremony at 11:15 a.m.
It's important to register with the Wayne County Manager's office at 731-1435 or register on line at www.waynegov.com/litter.asp.
Litter Sweep is a combined effort between the county, city and Keep Wayne County Beautiful.
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