Poplarville facing refuse problems

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 10, 2018

Poplarville is facing a refuse problem on private and public property.

Public Works Superintendent Sam Hale said that citywide, littering is a big problem in Poplarville. Every day public works employees have to not only pick up litter around the area, but remove illegally dumped bags of trash from city parks. Those dumped bags of garbage typically appear to have come from a residence, but were left in park trash cans – cluttering up the area and making it harder to keep the parks clean. He said city employees tried putting up signs asking people not to litter, but the signs were stolen almost immediately.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I don’t know what the remedy is, but there’s a lot of littering going on. It’s a reflection on our town – when people see our town it’s giving them a bad impression,” Hale said.

During the most recent Board of Aldermen meeting, Neal McLain, owner of the local Twice the Ice machine, spoke to the Board about the problems he has with trash being dumped around his business.

McLain said that when he first bought his business he had a trash can on the side of the building, but had to remove it after littering increased. Even after removing the can, the littering has continued to a point that he receives complaints from customers and City Hall, asking him to maintain a cleaner business. City Hall asked him to put another trash can out, which he said made the situation worse.

“It’s intended to be an unmanned business. It doesn’t have employees to come in every day who can pick up trash. It’s not feasible for me to be here every morning from 9-5 picking up trash, yet that’s almost what it requires,” McLain said.

He fills two 55-gallon trash bags a week, but litter still piles up, McLain said. He’s tried putting up signs around the establishment, but they too are usually either stolen or vandalized.

He said he would like to put up another sign to note the city’s littering ordinance and related fines.

McLain said he does a lot around the area such as donating ice to the Police Department every week and turning on his blue “free ice” light during his visits and natural disasters. He said he tries to help the community, so it’s unfortunate things are the way they are. McLain said he has eight ice machines and the only two he has issues with are the ones with trash cans.

“People need to realize, it’s not only unsightly, but it’s against the law for them to just throw their trash on [McLain’s] property,” Mayor Rossie Creel said.

Creel urged citizens to use personal responsibility when using both the ice machines and the city parks. He said trashcans at parks are for those using the park. If a person lives outside of the city limits where trash pick up is part of their monthly utility bills, Creel urged them to look into a personal garbage disposal service.