‘Let’s talk trash:’ commissioner holds public forum to discuss ways to eliminate litter in Logan County

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:58 PM EDT
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LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - People across Logan County came together Thursday night for a public forum to generate ideas on how to clean up litter throughout their communities.

“We absolutely need some community buy in,” said Logan County Commissioner Diana Barnette, who spearheaded the event. “People need to be informed and educated as to whose responsibility it is to do what, so that’s one of the reasons I wanted to inform the public and put together a program that involved everybody.”

The entire county commission, DNR officers, magistrates, Department of Highways, legislators and other county leaders attended the forum to discuss how and what the county can do.

One magistrate suggested making community service the penalty for littering, rather than paying a fine to create a deterrence. However, at this point, there is no one to supervise those assigned to community service to ensure the work is being done.

Other ideas throughout the forum included educating the youth in schools about littering, creating programs where high school seniors can get community service hours for emptying trash cans at convenient stores and putting up litter cameras to help identify who is doing the littering.

“When you go to try to clean up something, if you’re the only one trying, you’re going to feel defeated and you’re not going to get it done,” Barnette said. “So if you have a lot of like-minded people, then you don’t feel alone and you can make a difference.”

Logan County Code Enforcement Officer Ray Perry said currently, the county has about 300 dilapidated homes, which are hotspots for garbage. He said if the county were to clean up all the trash throughout communities and tear down all the dilapidated homes, it would cost about $3 million. The county is actively pursuing ways to get funding to accomplish tearing down all the homes and cleaning up areas.

Barnette said she thinks the forum was a step in the right direction and began a conversation that was necessary. County leaders discussed regrouping to figure out who they can assign to supervise those who are given community service as a penalty for littering.

This is a developing story. Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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