COMMUNITY CLEANUPS are becoming more and more commonplace throughout the Ohio Valley. Cities and towns are taking on a greater sense of pride in the appearance.
That is a good thing.
In Belmont County, litter will have an even bigger bull's eye on its back in the near future. Thanks to the JB Green Team, a litter deputy will begin patrolling the county in an attempt to curb wreckless, unsightly and illegal dumping.
The grant totals $60,000 and will cover the cost of the position and a vehicle to patrol the county.
No one has been selected as yet to fill the position. But once in place, that individual will work in concert with J.B Green Team, the township trustees, county commissioners and various other agencies.
The new position is one that fills a law enforcement void.
Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas points out the new position entails more than just cleanup. The new deputy will also investigate littering incidents, enforcing litter laws and arresting violators. Local law enforcement agencies don't have the manpower or time to conduct such duties.
Sheriff 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."
That is a sad scenario, one that needs cleaned up. The litter deputy will make obvious inroads into the problem. For that, JB Green Team should be commended.
But more needs to be done than just what a litter deputy can do. Anyone witnessing or knowing of such dumping episodes should report them immediately to the authorities.