Litter patrol coming to Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE A litter deputy will begin patrolling the county to combat the rise in careless dumping in the area.

A grant of $60,000 through the J.B. Green Team will cover cost of the position and a vehicle, most likely a pickup truck, to patrol the county.

Sheriff David Lucas said no one specific has yet been selected for the position. The deputy will work with J.B Green Team, the township trustees, county commissioners and other agencies. As well as cleanup, the deputy’s duties will include investigation of litter, enforcing litter laws and arresting violators.

“He’ll investigate, and if he’s able to find out who it is, he’ll charge them,” Lucas said.

Lucas noted the increasing problem of littering and careless dumping in the county.

“It’s out of hand,” he said. “We’re finding sofas, lounge chairs, household furniture just dumped on the side of the road. It’s a very bad problem.”

He added that often people without access to a convenient landfill or pickup truck will carelessly dispose of their household waste. In other cases, private and small businesses will simply discard refuse building material rather than have it disposed of.

Commissioner Matt Coffland suggested then when residents hire a contractor and refuse is hauled away, the residents ask the contractor for a receipt for the landfill.

“There are a few contractors that are causing problems in the county,” Coffland said, adding that the residents doing the hiring can be held accountable if refuse is disposed improperly.

“Being a property owner, it’s your material,” said Lucas. “Bottom line: don’t litter. Legally dispose of your garbage and waste where it belongs.”

Coffland added that the money is appropriated and ready and the patrol will launch as soon as paperwork is in order.

In addition, the sheriff’s office will work with the communities and other agencies and the courts in several ways, including the possibility of utilizing individuals with community service obligations.

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