Republicans call for more work to combat litter in weekly message
Republican lawmakers want the state to take action to deal with curbside litter and illegal dumping of trash.
In the weekly GOP message, state representative Rich Collins says it’s problem statewide. He notes in 2014 alone, DelDOT picked-up more than 44-thousand bags of litter, six thousand car tires, and 300 appliances from alongside from state roads.
“This is an issue that goes beyond aesthetics. Discarded waste lowers our quality-of-life, hurts economic development, and degrades our environment," said Collins. "Frankly, it's embarrassing.”
Collins says while programs like Adopt-a Highway and the Dept of Correction’s inmate clean-up crews help – they are not enough.
He’s working with State Sen. Karen Peterson to advocate for a Delaware chapter of Keep America Beautiful – and the General Assembly has passed a resolution to create a taskforce to seek additional solutions.
Full text of GOP weekly message:
We have a problem in Delaware and you can see it practically everywhere you look.
Litter is pervasive and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of illegal dump sites throughout our state.
In 2014 alone, the Delaware Department of Transportation picked-up more than 44-thousand bags of litter, six thousand car tires, and 300 appliances. Understand that is just from state-maintained roadways. It is only a fraction of what’s thoughtlessly discarded in our state annually.
This is an issue that goes beyond aesthetics. Discarded waste lowers our quality-of-life, hurts economic development, and degrades our environment. Frankly, it's embarrassing.
It seems almost too big to get your arms around. There are at least a half-dozen state agencies with a stake in controlling littering and illegal dumping or dealing with its aftermath. There are some programs, like Adopt-a-Highway, that have proven helpful. The Department of Correction runs inmate clean-up crews that have done some great work.
Still, reducing littering and illegal dumping has not been a high enough priority. We haven't devoted the resources to make a substantial impact, so we just go along treading water.
That needs to change.
Late last year I held informal discussions with agency representatives and business-people to begin this process. I have also been working with State Sen. Karen Peterson and others to advocate for starting a Delaware chapter of Keep America Beautiful.
Recently, I sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 40 with State Sen. Greg Lavelle. Passed unanimously in the General Assembly, this measure will form a task force charged with finding steps we can take to reverse the tide of discarded waste in our state.
These are things we can do. Taking a multi-pronged approach – focusing on clean-up, education, prevention, and holding violators accountable – I believe we can make a difference. We can make Delaware the show place it deserves to be.