Local News

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

Posted January 25, 2007 8:51 p.m. EST

— 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.