Let’s clean up our act on littering

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, September 19, 2019

Littering is unfortunately a familiar issue not only in Calcasieu Parish, but throughout the state.

Statistics show that $40 million is spent statewide on efforts to remove litter, educate the public and enforce penalties for littering.

Not only is litter a blight for neighborhoods, it also can cause storm drains to back up and increase flooding. Businesses that are considering a move to Calcasieu Parish may think twice if they see trash along roadways and property.

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Residents in Calcasieu Parish have certainly taken notice to the littering problem. A survey done in 2018 mentioned it as the second-highest concern, below drainage.

With the public already aware of the problem, it makes sense for the Police Jury to take a stand through its new “Pick it Up Calcasieu” campaign. The goal is to get more people to take part in cleaning up litter, educating area businesses and schools, along with stepping up enforcement.

The new website, pickitupcalcasieu.com, is full of resources residents can use to get tough on litter. There are links to get involved with the Adopt-A-Spot program or find out where the parish’s two dump sites are.

Residents can also use the website to report littering or illegal dumping, one of the bigger problems in the parish. They can fill out a form, which includes a vehicle’s make, model and license plate number, along with the date, time and location of littering. Littering can also be reported by calling 493-LITR (5487).

Littering could end up costing people more money if the Police Jury ends up increasing the fines. Right now, first-time offenders pay $40. People sometimes need more than a slap on the wrist to stop doing something harmful to the community.

Appearance speaks volumes and can have a major impact on a community, one way or the other. Wyvette Pryor-Cousin, litter manager for Calcasieu Parish, asked who would want to live in an area that is full of litter?

Change can start with a small act. Simply throwing away your trash instead of tossing it on the ground can go a long way. Instead of dumping old appliances at a vacant lot, take them to one of the parish’s solid waste centers.

Together, our community can make a difference. It’s time for us to take a stance against litter and pick it up, Calcasieu.””

Contraband Bayou off Lake Street

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