03/23/06 — City is targeting litter

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City is targeting litter

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 23, 2006 1:46 PM

Litter bugs beware. The city is soliciting thousands of eyes to crack down on trash.

Goldsboro’s General Services Department has activated a litter hotline that empowers residents to take an active role in cleaning up the city by phoning in information about unsightly areas.

“The general public has a role in keeping the city clean,” said Joe Sawyer, director of general services for the city.

Sawyer added that if potential litter offenders know there might be someone watching, potential they might think twice before dropping a cup.

“The hotline gives us a lot of eyes in the city,” he said. “I think the public needs to be more self-conscious of the litter being dropped.”

Some areas have already been targeted as litter-prone, especially around convenience and retail stores, Sawyer said.

“Nine times out of 10, a customer takes their items out of a store bag and drops the bag and the wind takes it,” he said.

Sawyer added his goal is to identify litter problems quickly so that a small litter problem does not become a garbage dump.

“We want to address the problem as it surfaces,” he said. “I feel that we are putting forth the effort to do so, but the public has a role in keeping the city clean, too.”

Once a call comes in, the city will schedule a day and time to clean the area. Then, Sawyer and his staff will notify code enforcement to help ensure the problem doesn’t continue.

City Manager Joe Huffman said he hopes the hotline will instill a sense of duty in city residents to help officials keep Goldsboro clean and attractive.

“I’m hoping that enough people are fed up with trash that they help us identify some areas,” he said. “We can’t be everywhere, so we’re thinking by having 39,000 eyes watching out for littering, we can respond (in a) more timely manner to the concerns of the community.”

But even a hotline won’t eliminate the problem, he said. The only real solution is the end of littering altogether.

“If people will stop littering, the whole problem would go away, and we would save the taxpayers dollars,” Huffman said. “There is no logic to littering. I don’t understand why anybody litters.”

Residents who see trash-filled areas around the city can call 739-7495.