Litter control officers in Mercer County have started the new year off with another round of citations for those caught in the act of littering. Good. A strong enforcement of the county’s litter control laws is necessary to help stop the growing number of illegal outdoor dumps that have blighted our otherwise scenic mountains.

The citations were the result of investigations into illegal dumps located across the county. Roadside litter also is still a big problem in Mercer County. The amount of fines levied against the offenders depend on the amount of garbage that has been dumped on a site.

Litter Control Officer Josh Parks told the Mercer County Commission during the board’s January meeting that illegal dumps continue to be a problem, but people are still being ticketed and fined for the practice. For example, five people were cited just last week for littering.

 In many instances, the waste itself reveals who could have dumped it. For example, letters or old bills found in trash dumps often include the names of the offenders.

 Parks said cameras are often used to find violators. He says trash also is still frequently thrown from vehicles.

“Roadside litter is still a big problem, especially right now for whatever reason,” Parks told the commissioners.

Given the continued growth of the region’s ATV tourism engine, it is imperative that we keep our mountains, roadsides and communities clear of unwanted trash and debris.

 These illegal dumps are an unacceptable blight that permeates our otherwise beautiful region. Those who are caught in the act of illegally littering, and contributing to these outdoor dumps, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Concerned citizens can also help by reporting illegal trash dumps and the descriptions of vehicles and individuals who they see illegally dumping trash in their community.

By working together we can keep our communities clear of unwanted trash and debris. A strong enforcement of litter control laws also must continue. Those who are caught in the act of littering must be charged.



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