Trojans bitter about litter

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2003

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford is bitter about litter and so are a large number of Troy citizens.

The mayor's anti-little campaign committee held a luncheon meeting to discuss what can be done to curtail the amount of litter that clutters the city's streets.

About 15 committee members attended the meeting and ideas for curtailing litter ranged from the use of a ball bat to an awareness campaigns directed toward the city's impressionable youths.

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Doc Anderson said he has traveled throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and was impressed by the cleanliness of the roadways of those states.

Anderson said the three states have strict regulations regarding roadway signage.

&uot;Up there, you don't see billboards and you don't see trash,&uot; Anderson said.

In Pike County, Anderson said billboards are prevalent along the highways and clutter like trash.

&uot;There seems to be a correlation between billboards and garbage,&uot; he said. &uot;You don't see billboards; you don't see garbage.&uot;

Ideas to &uot;bag&uot; litter were tossed around and several seemed to have merit.

One seemingly good idea had been explored but didn't get good response.

Erica Merrill, administrative assistant to the mayor, said local fast food restaurants were contacted and asked to provide car litter bags which would encourage people to put their food wrappers and cups in the bags instead of throwing the trash along the roadside.

&uot;We didn't get good response from the restaurants but we'll revisit that,&uot; Merrill said.

Litter Man and the mayor will make appearances at the schools during Earth Week, April 22-28 to remind students of the importance of being responsible citizens.

&uot;Litter Man has been very popular with the school children,' Merrill said. &uot;He got them excited about keeping their city clean. Mayor Lunsford talked to the students about why they shouldn't litter. He gave them litter patrol officer badges and encouraged them to discourage others from littering. The badges made them feel important and that they could make a difference in the anti-litter campaign.&uot;

Going back into the schools during Earth Week will bring renewed awareness to the anti-litter campaign and, hopefully, get the students excited and involved again.

Merrill said for the campaign to be successful, everyone must be involved.

&uot;We plan to involve the community through the mayor's anti-litter tips,&uot; she said. &uot;Mayor Lunsford will have Litter Tips of the Day, in The Messenger and on WTBF.&uot;

The tips will give information on the negative impact of trash on a community's image and ways to keep the city litter free.

The mayor's anti-litter campaign will include slogans such as &uot;Smokers are welcome but your butts are not!&uot;

Cigarette butts that are thrown out as litter never go away, so residents need to be aware that throwing out cigarette butts is a serious form of littering, the mayor said.

Lunsford entertained other ideas including asking fast food restaurants to use brown or green bags that would blend in with the environment or handing out car trash bags at drive-thru windows.

However, Lunsford said the best way to stop litter is through education programs.

&uot;We must call on the people of our community to be responsible citizens and good stewards of our land,&uot; he said. &uot;I don't know of a better place to start than with our young people, so we'll concentrate a lot of our effort in the schools and hope the students will take the message home.&uot;