Board: Can you stop county litterbugs?

Published 12:04 am Saturday, June 30, 2012

NATCHEZ — That the Adams County Supervisors think the county has a litter problem is no secret. The issue has been discussed openly in their meetings and other forums at length in recent months.

And now they’re asking for public input on how to address the problem.

In the past, the supervisors have instituted an adopt-a-road program. They’ve increased the fine for littering in the county. They even instituted a reward program for residents who caught litterers.

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But those haven’t worked as well as the supervisors have hoped, President Darryl Grennell said.

Gullies and creekbeds have become dumping sites for old bedsprings. Sinkholes hold kitchen sinks. The roadside is a wide-open wastebasket.

Now, Grennell said he wants the supervisors to brainstorm other creative ways of abating the litter problem in Adams County, and he would like to hear ideas from the public as well.

“Litter is something that I have been dealing with for 15 years,” Grennell said. “I am hoping somebody out there in the community could share some ideas. You have people who have moved here from other places, who have come here from communities that have programs that work. There are some good ideas out there that we just need to get a hold of.”

Supervisor Mike Lazarus said he knows of places in the county where cameras could be placed to easily catch litterers. Those locations include what he characterized as “hotspots” such as the U.S. 61 intersection at Hutchins Landing Road and Firetower Road.

“I suspect (getting to those roads) is how long it takes for (drivers) to finish their fast food and throw out their trash before they get home,” he said.

Grennell said the county has had a camera program in the past, and it resulted not so much in the catching of illegal dumpers as in the collection of pictures of birds and other wildlife.

Chancery Clerk Tommy O’Beirne said at issue is public education on the matter.

“I saw a sign on the side of the road that said, ‘Pick it up, Mississippi,’ but what it should really say is ‘Don’t throw it out.’”

Grennell said he could remember his parents and grandparents having litter bags that were kept in their cars. Maybe the county could encourage people to adopt such a practice again, he said.

“Maybe that is something we can look into, providing the public with litter bags to go in their cars instead of throwing it out,” Grennell said. “I like the idea that maybe we could come up with some sponsorships in the community, where people could advertise their businesses on the bags.

Supervisor Angela Hutchins said it was too late in the year to start a proposed youth litter program in which the county would hire local young people to pick up trash during the summer months, but perhaps it could be put in place for next summer, a suggestion Grennell said could be examined in further detail when the board starts their budgeting process later this year.

Grennell said members of the public could contact the individual supervisors with their litter-prevention ideas, or they could call the central supervisors office at 601-442-2431 or submit their ideas online at