Garbage clean up

Volunteers in Olive Hill clean up garbage

Inmates working with Carter County road crews picked up 967 bags of garbage over 38 miles of roadway in the county, according to a report presented to the fiscal court last week. But it isn't just litter tossed out of car windows. The county also has a pressing issue with illegal dump sites throughout the county.

The court discussed this and ways to combat it during its regular meeting last week. It isn't the first time the court has discussed the issue. It's also one that has been addressed by non-governmental citizens groups like the Carter County Youth Leadership's County Cleanup event, the Friends of Tygart Creek, who focus on cleaning up trash that ends up in the waterways, and by a citizens group in the city of Olive Hill, which has been focusing on cleaning up that city in advance of various community events.

The county does have a series of motion activated cameras, which have been placed at known illegal dump sites in the past. But county attorney Brian Bayes is suggesting that the county increase the use of those cameras and use them in more locations throughout the county, including to catch litterers along roads in the county.

One suggestion from the court was to place signs alerting citizens that the roads were being monitored for illegal dumping and littering, and to then rotate the traps around those locations. The idea was that if litter-bugs weren't sure which sign might have an active camera trained on it, they would be less likely to litter or dump anywhere.

“We spent money on those cameras,” Bayes said. “We need to put them up (in more locations).”

Bayes told the court that he would also be willing to work with the judge to sentence those found guilty of littering to work on a clean-up crew, rather than sentencing them to jail time.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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