Dauntless 100 pick up 7,000 pounds of trash
By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on September 24, 2004 1:59 PM
The statistics are in: Over 100 people defied Saturday's rainy weather, picking up almost 7,000 pounds of trash for the fall Litter Sweep in Wayne County.
But promoters say the volunteer cleaner-uppers need the help of law enforcement.
According to a report from the Administrative Office of the Courts, there were 24 littering citations issued in Wayne County during the first six months of 2004.
The Highway Patrol issued the most, 11, followed by the Goldsboro Police Department with nine citations for litter.
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office and the alcohol law enforcement division issued two citations each.
From those 24 citations, there have been seven littering convictions.
Duplin County issued nine citations, and Johnston County issued 31 citations during the same time period.
Statewide there have been 2,543 littering charges for the first six months of this year. Almost 1,400 people have been convicted.
Simonne Cato, executive director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful, said public education and community involvement are important to efforts to decrease the amount of litter, but that a vital link was enforcement of the laws.
"We must continue our anti-littering efforts on all three fronts: Education, enforcement and community involvement," said Ms. Cato. "The reason we pick up litter is to show that littering is not tolerated here and to show the pride we have in our community."
Litter Sweep was sponsored by Keep Wayne County Beautiful, the state Department of Transportation, Wayne County and the city of Goldsboro.
Cool temperatures and a fine mist that finally gave way to rain didn't stop the 132 volunteers from cleaning almost 25 miles of roadway.
Roadside trash doesn't just come from people throwing stuff out of their cars, says Ms. Cato, but often comes from uncovered loads.
"Please cover open loads on all trucks, trailers and vehicles -- it's your responsibility; it's the law and it may even safe a life," she said.
Another way to help eliminate trash on our streets and in neighborhoods is to make sure your household trash is in a tightly sealed container, and not loose, she said.
"And, if you own or manage a business, don't overfill dumpsters, and check daily to see that top and side doors are closed," she said. "Doing these things can prevent loose trash from being blown about by wind and traffic until it's in a ditch or trapped along a building, fence, or curb."
Loading and receiving docks, as well as construction and demolition sites, also need to be sure trash is secured at these sites, she added.
"Some people seem to believe that there is a specific segment of society responsible for littering and that's not true," she said.
An example of that, she said, can be seen at a ball game or other social event.
"Look at the people who will leave their plate, napkin or cup where they sat," she said. "They'll walk right by a trash can without ever throwing their stuff away because they think it's someone else's job to clean it up."
Ms. Cato said she was extremely grateful to the youth and adults who took the time to lead by example in Litter Sweep.
One family used the event as a "family bonding" day.
"The parents came out with the kids and made a game out of picking up the trash," she said."The kids had a great time."
Ms. Cato said the success of Litter Sweep was due to the volunteers.
"The volunteer spirit is alive and well," she said.
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