Editorial: It’s cleanup time for Sussex County

March 1, 2019

“Cleanliness is next to godliness.” – John Wesley

Could it really be that simple? Certainly worth a chance. Certainly worth $13,516.

As Sussex County Government Affairs Manager Mike Costello recently reported to council members, the county paid that amount over the past six months for a Sussex Correctional/DelDOT program involving prisoner cleanup crews that worked 83 miles of county roads.

It was a refreshing report. A break from the interminable - albeit important - land use, conditional use, and zoning discussions that typically dominate Sussex County Council meetings. This report was about boots on the ground. Getting it done.

It’s important right now. Days are lengthening. Winter’s grip is still keeping fields and trees leafless and brown.

Daily commutes are back in the light of day, affording motorists clear views, giving a sense of what’s been happening in winter’s darkness, amplifying the ugliness of senseless litter.

We’re the visitors that will be coming. We’re the tourists and residents. We are the destination, and we want our county to be inspiring for all of us. We want travelers passing through to say: “The people here are proud of where they live.”

Cleanliness and beauty go hand in hand and are not expensive. Cleanup crews provide all kinds of benefits, not the least of which is the productive work they accomplish. The program provides an opportunity for them to make money and feel a sense of accomplishment. They get outdoors and active, looking forward at their next cans, styrofoam, plastic bags and cardboard; looking back at a landscape cleaner and more beautiful because of their presence.

Like all of us, they are important resources whose efforts can make this beautiful planet - starting with our lovely county - a better place. DelDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway teams are also a part of that formula, as is every one of us who can stoop down three or four times a day to pick up litter.

Sussex is spending money wisely when it contracts for cleanup crews. Now’s the time to amp it up. Go into spring shining and bright. Nature will be doing her part. Let’s do ours.


  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, publisher emeritus, and Laura Ritter, news editor, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; Nick Roth, sports editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.