06/29/04 — County attacking litterers

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County attacking litterers

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 29, 2004 2:01 PM

Beginning next month, a Wayne County deputy will be patrolling for litterbugs, illegal dumpers and trucks with unsecured loads of trash.

People caught in the act will receive $100 citations and may be forced to appear in court.

Wayne County officials are trying to clean up trashy roadsides, one of the biggest causes of citizen complaints. The 2004-05 budget includes money for the new deputy to focus on the problem.

"We have been working on junked cars and will be doing even more this fall, but we also want to get more aggressive on litter," County Manager Lee Smith said today.

The Sheriff's Office hasn't named the deputy yet, but the position is funded as of Thursday. A current employee could be transferred into the job.

The deputy's primary assignment will be to look for trucks with loose loads of trash. County officials believe that much of the litter problem is caused by commercial haulers that haven't packed their loads properly.

A load will be considered secured if the driver has taken reasonable precautions, Smith said. The deputy will be looking for tarps, straps, ropes or other ways of keep paper, sheet metals and others items from blowing out.

People with trash bags in the back of pickups will not be cited if the bags are heavy and whole, he said.

Unsecured loads can be dangerous, Smith said. Trash in the road or falling off a truck could cause others to swerve and wreck.

The deputy will likely issue warnings for the first 30 to 60 days on the job but will then begin giving out $100 citations.

Other duties will include ticketing litterers, investigating of illegal trash dumping and assisting Deputy Joe Allen with the junked-car program.

The county plans to ask other law-enforcement officers and local judges to help with the trash problem, Smith said. Briefings will be held later this summer.