Local News

Group Says a Litter-less City Can Lure Businesses, Residents

Posted January 25, 2007

— Litter is everywhere, from Mount Mitchell to Morehead City. You see it on freeways and farm roads. It costs millions in taxpayer dollars every year to try to keep North Carolina clean.

Fayetteville, however, is in the thick of a fight to keep clean.

People are too willing to accept the messiness, says Bobby Hurst, chairman of the newly formed Fayetteville Beautiful Committee.

"They don't notice it. They just think it's a part of the way it's supposed to be," Hurst says.

The citizens who formed the Fayetteville Beautiful Committee say that is simply not OK.

"They are saying, ‘Look, we need to take responsibility and encourage all citizens to take responsibility for their environment,’" Hurst explains.

The state Department of Transportation says it spent $16 million last year picking up litter. Fayetteville Beautiful argues that the trash could be costing in other ways, too—by fending off business.

As many as 20,000 people have their sights set on the Fort Bragg area in the next few years as Army units are moved there during base realignments.

"We're wanting really to get a sense of pride back in the community and say it's clean and we're gonna keep it that way," Hurst says.

Fayetteville Beautiful is working to create tougher penalties for littering in the city. The group also is planning a day-long cleanup April 14.

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  • rickkoobs Jan 26, 2007

    I am very pleased to see the broadcast media finally spotlighting this issue. Thank you WRAL. Now, please, continue to put this blight of litter in North Carolina before the public eye.

    My thanks to Bobby Hurst and all those in Fayetteville who have chosen to do something. They are demonstrating leadership where there has, until now, been none. Until the out of control litter situation becomes a major public issue, the trash will continue to pile up everywhere, and it will be too late ever to reverserse the damage that has been done to this (once) beautiful landscape.

    And I agree with the poster who suggests a soda/pop bottle refund. That is a real no brainer, and yet the powers that be in this state don't seem to get it. But then, it's hard to get it if you don't care to start with.

  • Crumps Br0ther Jan 26, 2007

    builder276 you are so wrong on this. I grew up right across the river from Canada. The Canadians would come across the bridge into my hometown and go to the mall. After a day of shopping they would put on all their purchases so as too look like they were wearing it when they came over the bridge, that way they don't have to pay a duty when they go back across. At the end of the day the mall parking lot was littered with old shoes and clothing. I once saw a Canadian changing his oil in the mall parking lot and just let the old oil run into the sewer drain! If NC wants to clean up its roads, they should start a refund program on pop (yah Im a Yankee, and its POP!) bottles and cans like they do in Michigan. You get 10 cents per can or bottle when you return the empties. There is a fortune out there on I-40.

  • builder276 Jan 26, 2007

    Take a lesson from Vancouver British columbia. $ million people in city, immaculately clean, but Canadians are not pigs like Americans.

  • emory24 Jan 25, 2007