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Politics & Government

Gov. Carney kicks off statewide anti-litter campaign

litter_campaign_carney.jpg
Sarah Mueller
/
Delaware Public Media
Litter campaign kickoff in Rehoboth Beach

Delaware is launching a campaign to “Keep Delaware Litter Free.”

Delaware Department of Transportation officials say they pick up about 35,000 bags of outdoor trash every year - along with about 6,000 tires and hundreds of appliances.

Gov. John Carney and other lawmakers say they hope this public awareness push will encourage people not to litter and pick up trash.

State Sen. Stephanie Hansen said she’s upset by the amount of outdoor garbage. She said people are constantly complaining to her about the amount of outdoor trash.

“They’re mad at the fact that there’s so much litter and trash along our roadways and our fields," she said. "The large landowners are mad because there’s piles of trash now that show up all over their land on a regular basis.”

Hansen is sponsoring legislation to enhance penalties for people caught dumping bags of trash.

“That is so disrespectful," she said of illegally dumping. "It’s awful. And we have spots that continue to be places where people deposit this stuff week after week. It’s driving the landowners crazy, as it should.”

State Rep. Gerald Brady is sponsoring legislation to ban single-use plastic bags, a main source of outdoor litter.

DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan said she’s budgeting about $750,000 in the next fiscal year to hire contractors to help pick up trash. And a pilot program in Wilmington paying unemployed people to pick up litter will be expanded statewide.

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