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Picayune Anti-litter ordinance heads to council

 

No trash to treasure: A committee, made up from local residents, has finalized a proposed ordinance may go before the city council soon. If approved, it will be put on the council agenda to be voted on. From left: Ken Hall and Ray Mitchell at the Picayune Anti-litter Committee meeting held last week at city hall.  Jodi Marze| Picayune Item

No trash to treasure: A committee, made up from local residents, has finalized a proposed ordinance may go before the city council soon. If approved, it will be put on the council agenda to be voted on. From left: Ken Hall and Ray Mitchell at the Picayune Anti-litter Committee meeting held last week at city hall.
Jodi Marze| Picayune Item

The Picayune Anti-litter Committee, chaired by Ray Mitchell, is ready to present their comprehensive litter ordinance to the city council for review. Once approved, the ordinance will be put on the council agenda for a vote.

At a meeting held Thursday, Mitchell described the ordinance as a document that clearly defines what constitutes litter, responsibilities of our citizens, city and businesses, and set fines and punishments for violating any terms of the ordinance.

“This document is intended to help and encourage us all to be better stewards of our city, environment and in the long run, our economy,” Mitchell said. “Individuals looking for a new residence or a place to establish or expand their business consider the environment of the community as part of their decision process.

“This city effort is gaining interest in the county as well. Anthony Hales recently made statements regarding this issue at a recent board of supervisor meeting.”

The group researched other cities with successful enforcement of litter before adopting language that addressed Picayune’s concerns.

If the ordinance is passed, the group will erect signs reminding residents that litter is a crime and they can be fined if convicted.  The committee intends to place the signs along high litter areas such as Memorial Boulevard, US 11 South, South Haugh Avenue and Airport Road.

Another step that was discussed included an educational campaign with the message  “Don’t Trash Picayune.”  The hope is to spread this message through wristbands and literature at schools and other youth organizations.

“Our main goal is, over a period of time, to break the cycle of littering,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that he encourages the community to take photos of littered areas and send them to the Picayune Item to be included in the “Please Fix” photos.

“But more than that, I would encourage everyone to be part of the solution and pick up,” Mitchell said. “If you are walking, bring a bag with you and pick up litter that you see.”

The next meeting for the Anti-litter Committee will be held on March 27th at 9 a.m. in City Hall.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the Anti-litter Campaign can make donations payable to the City of Picayune and should include Anti-litter Campaign as the recipient. These can be given to Kris Landrum in the city manager’s office at city hall.