Pastor encourages better enforcement of litter laws

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It has become a routine it seems for Bill Younce.
The pastor of Lighthouse for Jesus Church, located on US 19E in Elizabethton past the Stoney Creek exit, was busy outside the church premise with James Garrett Tuesday morning picking up trash that was spread across the highway and onto the church’s property.
“McDonald’s cups and bags, beer boxes, beer cans, all kinds of trash, it is a constant thing,” Younce said Tuesday while picking up the trash.
It’s been a regular sight the pastor explained. During his years as the church, he alluded to the fact the stretch of the highway continues to see its fair share of litter spread along both sides of the road.
From the regular pickup to having to replace a mailbox seven times, roughly costing around $75 each go around, Younce added he would like to see more enforcement and awareness on littering in the community.
“I think it’s time for more signs to come up,” he said. “More enforcement on the fines, it would help with the pressure to keep the litter off the streets.”
Even though the day was frustrating for Younce, he couldn’t help but break a smile during the cleanup. As Younce and Garrett started to clean up the area, a gentleman passing by on a bicycle stopped and assisted with the cleanup.
“He took time out of his bicycle ride to help out, we definitely appreciate it,” Younce added with a smile.
Enforcement will be key, according to Garrett. During the pickup, Garrett added citizens could assist authorities by keeping an eye out for individuals that litter, either intentionally or by trashing flying out their vehicle.
“If they are behind a vehicle, write down the make and model,” he said. “It’s something to help the authorities so that they can contact these people.”
Garrett added that individuals that assist with combating litter crimes could help encourage more community pride.
“A dirty house isn’t fun to live in. Being able to help out gives people a sense of pride, and have more pride in their community,” he said.
The highway where Lighthouse is located on the stretch of highway adopted by the Elizabethton Lions Club. Lions Club, along with Carter County Proud, both have been on the forefront of assisting with litter laws and addressing litter issues in the area.
To get involved with cleanup opportunities, visit the Carter County Proud or Elizabethton Lions Club Facebook pages online.

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