Keep Carter County Beautiful sets sights on reducing roadside trash

Published 8:12 am Friday, December 7, 2018

With the illegal dumping of almost a ton of garbage at a local recycling center, Keep Carter County Beautiful has decided to ramp up its efforts to reduce both the frequency and the adverse effects of litter in the community.

Litter was chief among conversations discussed during KCCB’s December meeting Wednesday evening.

Chair of the committee Ed Jordan said the cost of cleaning up trash from roadsides and waterways is high.

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“TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) spends millions of dollars a year cleaning up trash from the roads,” Jordan said.

The committee pointed to the recent illegal dumping of trash at Carter County’s recycling center as evidence of an ever-increasing problem in the community.

Community member Mike McDonald was present for this month’s meeting, hoping to inspire additional action against the problem.

“Liter is a pet peeve of mine,” McDonald said. “I fill two to three bags worth of trash a week in my neighborhood.”

McDonald pointed a large portion of the blame at fast food companies, saying at least 80 percent of the litter he sees is from fast food bags and cups.

McDonald suggested petitioning fast food companies to include warnings on their bags discouraging littering, but the committee said the response would be stunted at best, if not nonexistent.

“Everyone I have talked to in the past has sent me to corporate,” Jordan said.

Despite this, the committee considered this and several other proposals aimed at actively reducing litter in Carter County.

Keep Carter County Beautiful said their goal is to “start at the bottom.”

“We have to change the mind-sets of people at home,” Jordan said.

The committee said their efforts so far have been met with success; they just need to keep up the pressure.

“I have seen a difference in Milligan Highway,” Jordan said. “This board needs to get the word out.”

Other discussions during the meeting include plans to appear in the 2019 Christmas parade.

Keep Carter County Beautiful also talked about ways to better centralize and focus their efforts in order to be more successful. Though the details will wait until their next meeting, the committee discussed focusing on their parent organization’s three main goals: to educate, to act and to enforce.