Parish enlists new allies for tougher enforcement on illegal dumping

Stepped-up enforcement to battle illegal dumping and litter is under way as Calcasieu Parish recovers from multiple 2020-21 natural disasters.

The Police Jury has enlisted fresh law enforcement parishwide for the new effort, adding teeth to its ongoing “Pick it Up” campaign.

The enforcement message is intended to be loud and clear:

• Post-storm, “black truck” curbside debris pickup has ended. Storm debris can’t be piled out by the road like it used to be.

• Dumping debris — or anything else — is illegal, whether it’s done at ditches, dead-end streets or properties misused for secret dump-and-runs.

• The consequences for dumping can include fines and even the suspension of driving privileges.

As the Police Jury sees it, it’s time to clean up Calcasieu Parish.

The parish’s point person is Litter Manager Wyvette Pryor-Cousin, whose efforts have ranged from community outreach, to signage, to multimedia campaigns.

Now, police jurors, mayors and other officials — they’ve seen illegal dumping firsthand in their own cities and districts — have re-affirmed their support of the Pick it Up effort as attention turns to enforcement.

Pryor-Cousin has added some powerful new recruits the battle. One of them is Ward 3 Marshal Nathan Keller.

“We’re taking litter seriously,” Keller said, surveying a dump site south of Lake Charles — a pile that skirts along Levee Loop and chokes off the drainage ditch underneath it. “We will no longer tolerate this in our community.”

Keller is using his office’s resources to help with Pryor-Cousin’s new enforcement efforts.

“We’re stepping up the forces,” he said.

Keller’s counterpart on the other side of the river is doing the same.

Sulphur-based Ward 4 Marshal Brandon Dever is directing his own efforts to crack down on illegal dumping in West Calcasieu.

“We’re partnering with (Keller) and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury to start enforcing the litter problem parishwide,” Dever said. “Don’t dump it. Pick it up.”

Litter was already a problem parishwide — the Pick it Up program predates the 2020 hurricanes — but the recovery has added a whole new variety of illegal dumping by unscrupulous property owners, businesses, contractors and subcontractors.

Pryor-Cousin says increased enforcement by multiple agencies will be amplified by a campaign of radio and TV public service announcements, billboards, social media posts and media outreach.

Keller and Dever, in fact, will serve as spokesmen in the campaign’s first TV commercial. Police jurors and other officials will also carry the message on various platforms.

The major points made by the parish and its new anti-dumping alliance are:

• Enforcement comes with penalties — and they may include arrest, a ticket, a fine and even a temporary driver’s license suspension.

• Businesses that dump face similar legal jeopardy.

• People can report illegal dumping by calling 493-LITR or visiting pickitupcalcasieu.com.

The Police Jury is also emphasizing the solutions to the problem — such as using the parish’s solid waste convenience centers. The centers are located at 5500-B Swift Plant Road in Lake Charles and 2915 Post Oak Road in Sulphur. They are open 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

The centers are free to any parish resident who presents a driver’s license, but there are certain dumping restrictions. Visit pickitupcalcasieu.com for the rules.

The parish is also encouraging civic and business groups to join in litter cleanup efforts through its Adopt-a-Spot program, which supplies free materials to help citizens clean up litter hot spots.

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

Local News

Is Tornado Alley shifting eastward? La. residents say it is

Local News

Weeklong heat wave loosens grip slightly on US Southwest but forecasters still urge caution

Local News

Impact of carbon capture project on Chicot Aquifer questioned

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Business

Aypa Power plans $440M solar farm in rural section of Jeff Davis, Calcasieu parishes

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Elections major session issue

Local News

Israel bombs UN-run school in Gaza, a day after strike on school killed 33

Crime

Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi testifies about her father

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Calcasieu Kennel Club Dog Show

Local News

Police Jury considering I-10 beautification project

Crime

6/7: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

New restaurant summer kick-off event to feature music, games

life

Coushatta Pow Wow: Annual Kinder event offers chance to experience Native American culture

life

Lake Charles Community Band concert to present tribute to Grammy winners

Local News

Port Wonder Progress: Target date for opening is mid-September

life

Fort Johnson security guard helps save neighbor’s home

Business

‘Streamlined, flexible, transparent’ ITEP process is in the works

Crime

Widow of Beau Biden tells jurors in Hunter Biden’s gun trial that she threw firearm in a trash can

McNeese Sports

Wade talks about roster

Local News

Bicyclist fatally struck near Broad Street

life

Area property owners encouraged to submit storm damage online

Local News

Only way to go is up: Kennedy says Cowgirls headed in right direction

Crime

6/6: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list