County Chamber spearheading litter control campaign

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
Litter has become an ever-increasing problem for Franklin County but thanks to the impending partnership between the county and Keep America Beautiful, things may be about to change.
The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is spearheading a campaign that would get and keep the county clean by promoting education among the county's youth.
"Much like a drug program or something similar, we feel it's most effective to teach the kids it's not okay to litter," Lisa Stockton, Executive Director for the county's chamber of commerce said.
Education will be but one part of the program. Beautification and community involvement are other key components.
"The chamber is going to push the ball, so to speak," Stockton said, "but it's going to take the whole county to get it rolling and keep it rolling."
Keep America Beautiful will come in and show the Chamber how to establish and maintain a successful litter program, but Stockton said it will take the entire county to make it work.
Among the educational tools will be a mascot, who has yet to be named, that will go to the schools and day cares and talk to the children about litter prevention.
"The county litter agent is also going to get involved and deputize the students as officers in the fight against litter," Stockton added.
Stockton said she also hopes to establish a beautification board with representatives from around the county, which would serve as a county litter control board of directors of sorts.
"We need local civic clubs, garden clubs and local industries to all get involved," she added. "One person or one group isn't going to solve this problem alone."
The beautification aspect of the program, Stockton said, would be in the hands of local businesses and property owners, who would be asked to better maintain property that may have fallen into disrepair.
"The cities and the county all will have to look and see what laws are on their books and start enforcing them," she said. "It's going to make some people mad but in the long run it's what's best for the community."
Stockton said she also hoped to institute industrial audits of some of the county's top waste producers, a measure she hopes would show the companies how they can cut down on the amount of trash they produce.
"Some of what you see on the side of the road is blowing off the back of commercial trucks headed to the landfill," Stockton said.
"If we can reduce the amount of waste we're producing, we can also cut down on the litter."
The program should be implemented in the next six to eight weeks.