Council talks trash: Time to tackle litter

Councilman suggests cameras to identify perpetrators
Trash like this on Cedar Grove Road is commonplace on many roads in Sussex County. BY RON MACARTHUR
April 18, 2013

Councilman Sam Wilson, R-Georgetown, says it's time to crack down on people who throw trash along Sussex County roads. He suggested the county put up signs stating “only trash throws out trash.” He even suggested the county put up cameras on backroads to catch perpetrators.

Wilson, a farmer who lives in rural Sussex, said many county roads have become dumping grounds. He said Department of Transportation crews used to find names on discarded trash and issue fines. “It seems that it's not important now,” he said.

Councilman Vance Phillips, R-Laurel, agreed with Wilson. “Can we come up with a strategy to address trash?” he asked, adding that DelDOT is not doing the job.

Eddy Parker, director of county assessments who was in attendance for another agenda item, said the county does not have resources to deal with the magnitude of the problem of picking up trash on roadways.

Phillips said staff should come up with some suggestions that could be addressed in the next fiscal budget. The matter will be placed on a future agenda.

County Attorney Everett Moore reminded council members that the matter was not on the published agenda and should not be discussed.

“We can see what other counties do,” said Councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View.

The state has enacted stricter penalties for illegal trash dumping with fines of $500 to $1,500 plus court costs. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has instituted a 24-hour hotline to report illegal trash dumping: 800-662-8802.

DelDOT has coordinated the state's Adopt-A-Highway program since 1990 with more than 800 groups participating. Under the program, participating groups are responsible for cleaning up a 2-mile stretch of roadway at least twice a year.

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