Tangipahoa leaders aim to use cameras to catch litter bugs

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 6:40 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

HAMMOND, La. - Every day, public works employees walk the roads of Tangipahoa Parish picking up trash.

But lately, it's become a daunting task that doesn't even seem to dent the problem.

"It's really bad to come back to the same road day after day," said employee Ronald Joiner.

It's something residents are very aware of.

“It's really pathetic with all the trash being here because the people just act like they come through and they consider this just the trash can," David Johnson said.

The parish says over the past 45 days, workers have collected more than 1,200 bags of trash.

Some are even volunteering to clean up on weekends to get ahead of the litter problem. It's an effort that costs $200,000 a year, and leaders say they're angry it's being wasted, especially since the parish landfill is free to use.

"There's no excuse," said Gordon Burgess. "There is no excuse for this."

A lot of the trash being found looks to come from convenience stores and fast food restaurants. And the parish says some of their biggest problem areas are about a mile away from businesses just like that.

On less populated roads, items such as televisions and tires are part of the pick-up. That's why leaders want to put cameras up to catch violators.

"We're talking about putting the names in the paper when we catch them, try to get our justice of the peace and constables to be a little more aggressive with ticket writing and just make an all out push to clean the parish out," Councilman Carlo Bruno said.

"If the cameras work,” said Burgess, “We're gonna get some more. We're gonna clean up our parish whether the people like it or not."

But leaders are hoping this stronger stance gets residents on the parish's side of the fight.

Burgess said the cameras will be put up in undisclosed locations in the next few days. They’re hoping to make an impact before public works has to transition workers from trash pick-up to grass cutting.

 

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