Forrest County Sheriff’s Department launching litter initiative

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Forrest County Sheriff Charlie Sims says littering is an issue for the area, and he’s looking for help solving it.

“We want to encourage people to take personal responsibility, you know, hold the trash in their vehicle until they get to a gas station or home,” Sims said.

Sims says those who don’t follow the rules could face up to a $250 dollar fine if caught. But of course, the department is doing something about the trash already put there.

The county plans to partner with the Mississippi Department of Transportation for inmate clean-ups. Sims says he’ll meet with MDOT next week to sign off on the program in which MDOT will provide the equipment.

“And then we get the inmates out there on the highways and try to clean up the litter,” Sims said. “Unfortunately, we have quite a bit and that’s on all the major thoroughfares coming into Hattiesburg right now. So this will help clean that up.”

And to help with the cleaning, Sims encourages civic organizations to ‘adopt’ a stretch of highway through MDOT to clean up regularly.

“They can actually provide them with gloves and vests and trash bags,” Sims said. “They’ll put up advisory signs saying they’re out there picking up and they’ll put up a sign that acknowledges their organization saying they’ve adopted this part of the highway.”

Sims reminds residents that everyone plays a part in preventing litter.

“It really sends a positive message when people come through Hattiesburg and they see how clean the roads are, that speaks highly of our community,” Sims said.

Sims asks that people drive with caution when they see clean-up crews working on the roads this summer.

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