Local News

Summit Seeks Solutions to NC Trash Problems

Posted May 24, 1999

— Events like the1999 Special Olympics World Summer Gameswill throw the spotlight on the Triangle. Some folks in North Carolina are trying to make sure the state is known for its beauty and not its litter. They are hoping a summit in Wake County will drive motorists away from using our roads as a trash can.

"I have been calling the state government, the county government...trying to figure out what I can do about this," says Apex resident Karrie Brenneman.

Brenneman is attending the second annual "Litter Is Illegal" summit, in hopes of finding a solution to the problem of litter in her neighborhood.

Last year, inmates and volunteers picked up 8.6 million pounds of trash along state roads. This year, the governor hopes more people will pitch in.

Governor Hunt's new Clean North Carolina 2000 Initiative is focusing on recruiting more volunteers to clean up the garbage. Concerned citizens attending the summit are also brainstorming ways to stop the trashing of North Carolina's roads in the first place.

"The real issue is changing people's behavior," says Lois Nixon, of Wake CountyKeep America Beautiful. "So, it won't be a quick fix. It's going to take a long time because some of these are habits that people have had."

The governor was scheduled to join some high school students in cleaning up an illegal dumpsite in Wake County Tuesday afternoon. TheDepartment of Transportationsays it is targeting teenagers because 18- to 21-year-olds are the biggest litterers.

There are also several bills before theGeneral Assemblythat target litterbugs. They range from increasing the fines for littering to making cleanup mandatory as part of a public service sentence for people caught littering.

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