Scioto County, Ohio has a littering problem. Tons of garbage are dumped by the side of the road or piled on properties. Litterbugs abuse recycle bins located around the county and leave them overflowing with trash. Why is the county having such a hard time stopping the garbage from piling up? According to Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis, there are two main reasons. We’ll break down the problems.
No Enforcement Officer
The Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District is in charge of fighting littering and illegal dumping in both counties. There’s supposed to be an enforcement officer to make sure folks follow the rules or face the long arm of the law. Steven Hileman was the enforcement officer until he was dismissed from his position last fall after a domestic violence arrest. Hileman died the next month. Since then, the position has gone unfilled. Davis said that’s a problem.
“Our enforcement officer was dismissed. As a result, we need to replace that position. Right now we rely on the sheriff. That’s another position we need to fill.” Davis said the sheriff’s office in each individual county is in charge of enforcement. But Davis said they haven’t issued any citations yet. “We have had some situations where we’ve had to address some litter problems. One situation here in the city is particularly bad. We’re dealing with those one at a time. I’m sure the solid waste management district will fill that position as soon as they can.”
In fact, Davis said he planned to speak with Lawrence County Commissioners about filling the position soon. However, he said there’s no set timetable for picking a replacement. “There are litter officers in place. There is work being done. It’s the enforcement piece that’s not happening right now. At least not effectively.”
COVID Curtails Cleanup
Davis said the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District is still working hard to stop trash from piling up. “We still have the ability to go out and clean up litter. Right now they are struggling to stay ahead of the recycle bins because people are abusing them so badly.”
The counties rely heavily on prisoners to pick up trash from the roads, but Coronavirus stopped that program in its tracks. “We can’t get any jail, any prisoners, we can’t get anybody from Star. COVID has really put a damper on what we’ve been able to do.” Back in February, the last full month when inmates picked up trash, 8.7 tons of garbage was collected from roadways.
However, probationers from Scioto County are at work picking up litter all over the county to work off their fines. Commissioners shared photos of their recent efforts on their Facebook page.
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Davis said the county will continue to use that workforce. ” We’re going to use them more and more It’s just not a perfect situation right now at all. We’re hoping at one point we’ll be able to do more.”
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