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Column: Let’s make war on county’s roadside litter

By Stephen Dawkins

Plenty of Chilton County residents have said we need to clean up our streets, but Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed wants to take it one step further.
“Let’s make war on this litter,” Reed said after Monday’s Jemison City Council meeting.
Reed didn’t mean in the literal sense, of course, but I liked his idea. Reed said he wanted to get all officials in the county—county commission and city and town councils—and discuss ways to address the county’s obvious litter problem.
Reed’s comment came after a story in The Clanton Advertiser about Jemison officials’ efforts to get business owners at Interstate 65 Exit 205 to clean up their property, which in many cases has become home to years worth of stray hamburger wrappers and plastic bottles.
The problem isn’t isolated to the Jemison Interstate exit or even to Jemison. There’s trash all over the county, and it hurts the appearance of our county, which, in turn, makes our county less attractive to potential businesses and homeowners.
So, throwing that empty cigarette pack out the car window is like taking money away from the county. And we haven’t even mentioned what it takes to clean up the trash.
Ultimately, it’s about county residents taking pride in where they live and caring about what the county looks like.
But public officials can help with that process by organizing clean-ups and by making sure residents know that littering is a punishable offense.