WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - "Think Green, Keep Waynesboro Clean" is a new initiative the city and county are working together on to stop litter from trashing streets and neighborhoods.
Trash is piling up so much in the city and county, employees can't keep streets clean. Now, they are turning to the community in an effort to keep Waynesboro beautiful.
"I think littering is a big problem in our area," said Diane Harris, who operates Tax Express in downtown Waynesboro. She said it's time to cleanup the mess.
"Some mornings when I come to my office during the night people have thrown out trash right out here in front of the building," Harris said.
"It's not just trashing our neighborhoods, but it's blocking drainage and runoffs," Public Works Director Joseph Zaydel said. "A lot of this is running through our ditches into our streams and our river."
Zaydel said the trash is piling up to some big bucks.
"MDOT says they spend about $3 million per year on state highways trying to pick up trash," Zaydel said. "In Waynesboro, directly and indirectly we spend about $750,000."
And even more is spent in the county to pick up trash.
"It is an epidemic. It's a health problem and it's a serious issue," Zaydel said. "We clean the streets in the morning and by lunch you can't even tell we've been down them."
Zaydel is hoping with the community's help this problem can be solved.
"It's a community wide epidemic. It's going to take everybody working together in order to combat this issue," Zaydel said. "We have a problem in Waynesboro. We have to do something about it."
If you are caught littering, you could face up to a $250 fine.
"Because this is our town, it's our responsibility to keep it clean," Harris said.
During the Wayne County Amnesty Day the city and county is also having a community wide cleanup day where you can help. The event will be held Saturday, May 12th starting at 8 a.m.
If you want to volunteer, call Waynesboro City Hall at 601-735-4874 to sign up. You must be signed up to volunteer by May 1st.