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District 5 encouraged to clean up

May is District 5 clean-up month, and Councilwoman Dejerelyn Henderson is urging resident in her district to “pick up, don’t put down litter.”

“Right now, District 5 has an issue with people not being aware of the fact that when you throw trash on the ground, only you are going to pick it up,” Henderson said. “Everyone morning when I go out and walk, I take a bag with me and pick up trash. There is an area down the street … where a grandmother has several grandchildren and she’s allowing tem to throw the trash in the sewer drain. These are simple things that we can fix.”

And, Henderson said there is something else that should be drawing more concern: abandoned cars littered throughout her district

“The biggest thing in District 5 that needs to get out of the way are abandoned vehicles,” Henderson said. “There are so many abandoned vehicles in Different 5 that we may as well be running a junk yard.”

Henderson said her biggest push to clear the area of abandoned vehicles was not just for aesthetics, but also to address health hazards that come with leaving the cars on the street unused.

“When you have abandoned vehicles they have the potential to breed undesirables like snakes and roaches,” Henderson said. “We’ve even known raccoon and possum families to move into those abandoned vehicles. It’s a permanent home for these varmints.”

Along with abandoned cars, abandoned property is a growing concern in the Montgomery Street area.

“The abandoned homes and dilapidated homes are something that I am pushing on my own,” Henderson said. “Those were issues that were presented to me when I was out campaigned. People constantly talk about that the houses that are broken down. There is a difference between being a landowner, landlord or a resident. Nobody is living in these homes.”

Henderson said she is referring to properties that once could have been beautiful homes, but after being left empty are now of no use. Many have deteriorated so much that they are now uninhabitable. It’s her hope that one day those areas can be cleared out.

“There are beautiful areas in Troy and there are beautiful areas in some of these blighted areas of our community, but you can’t see it past the blight,” she said.

Henderson said she is taking it upon herself to help deter the littering in her district, and said she hopes to recruit several of the neighborhood’s children to help out in her efforts.

“I have talked to the parents about their kids going out with me to clean up trash,” Henderson said. “I’ll give them a pizza party if they do a good job. Every child will have a trash bag and whoever can get the most trash in his bag will have done a good job. There might be an extra incentive included if they do really well, like a movie pass or a Milky Moos gift card.”

The clean-up will run through May, but Henderson said she hopes to continuously spur the effort to have a clean district at all times.

“I’ve seen education, and I think the more you teach people how to do and what to do they’re more apt to do it and they’re more likely to teach their children to do it,” she said. “I’m hoping to get the young children in to pick it up and don’t drop it down that way we can grow a population and eradicate a population.”