Sussex County is continuing its battle against litter, partnering with two state departments to clean up trash on county roads.
Since June 2018, the county has collaborated with the Department of Correction and the Department of Transportation, using county funding for overtime for correction officers to expand the inmate trash collection program. DelDOT staff then collect the bags for disposal.
During a report at the March 17 Sussex County Council meeting, Mike Costello, government affairs manager, said the county spent nearly $20,000 from July to December 2019; more than 1,700 bags of trash were picked up on 402 miles of Sussex roads. The number of bags collected was down from more than 2,200 during the same time period in 2018.
October and September were the busiest months.
In 2019, nearly 4,000 bags of trash and 122 tires were collected on more than 650 miles of roads. Over the year, the county received 337 requests from residents who named specific trash spots.
Requests for trash removal can be made on the county website at www.sussexcountyde.gov. The link is located at the bottom of the home page.
Councilman John Rieley said he was amazed how much trash he sees on Sussex roads. He suggested more outreach to explain the program. “We need more public relations to promote the program,” he said.
The partnership came out of concerns expressed by the public. “The nexus of this is that we have no control over trash collection. This gets us involved in some way,” Costello said.