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Less litter, but not perfect yet

Yesterday I searched the county’s roadways expecting to quickly find trash littering the roadway.

To my surprise, I had to search harder than I thought to find the dreaded plastic bag tossed out of a car window.

Just a few months ago, taking a trip to Poplarville along Highway 11 meant witnessing bags of garbage, soda cans, food wrappers and other trash strewn about every quarter mile.

Maybe I just got lucky this week and the cleaning crews with the Sheriff’s Department just happened to have cleaned the road the day before, but it seems like the county is taking a turn for the better.

However, improvements can always be made.

The county was supposed to start enforcing a new trash-hauling ordinance this month, but has decided to seek revisions to the policy before enforcing it.

While those revisions aren’t yet clear, they should have been worked out before the ordinance was ever adopted, let alone before it was scheduled to take effect.

As a result, commercial haulers are left shrugging their shoulders, going about their regular business hoping they don’t get ticketed for violation of an unclear regulation.

The ordinance as it stands requires commercial haulers to undergo semi-annual inspections to ensure they take the necessary precautions to prevent waste from leaving garbage trucks while on the roads.

In severe instances, improper equipment or inadequate tarping can lead to bags of garbage falling off a truck going 55 mph and being scattered on the roadside.

Not only is it unsightly and pollutes our roadways, it could cause an accident as vehicles swerve to avoid the debris.

I hope that county officials resolve any issues with the new ordinance quickly and effectively communicates any changes with the public, especially commercial haulers.