Grove City leaders have hit the streets and they don’t like what they see – litter.
City Administrator Sharon Reichard said she has been out running and has noticed a lot of litter.
"The snow has melted and it’s just everywhere," she said.
Now the city is stepping up to clean it up.
Lt. Steven Robinette, with the Grove City Division of Police, said the department has been working with the service department to set up a new program that addresses litter.
Though this program is in its beginning stages, Robinette said it would allow residents to report someone spotted littering. Once the police department received the report, they would forward a letter to the individual informing them that littering is against the law and educating them on recycling.
"Right now, it does not have much teeth as far as enforcement goes but it will reinforce the efforts from the city and reinforce recycling," said Robinette.
The lieutenant explained that there are two types of littering; traffic littering and criminal littering. Traffic littering is simply drivers throwing items out of their cars. Criminal littering is illegal dumping. Both are third degree misdemeanors and can carry a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
"Some people think they can toss items like apple peels or banana peels out of their car because they are biodegradable," said Robinette. "But it is still litter."
He explained that tossing items out of vehicles can also endanger other motorists or pedestrians.
Residents complain to the department about neighbors who do not properly secure their trash cans. If the canister is not secured, the trash can blow out and end up on the street or in neighbors’ yards. This is littering and is a third degree misdemeanor.
"It is an obligation under the law to contain your trash," said Robinette.
Overall, litter is not something the police department deals with heavily.
"It is an issue but we want to make sure it does not become a huge issue," Robinette remarked.
Grove City Service Director Darryl Hughes said his department is out on the streets to pick up garbage. Reichard asked residents to be responsible and more aware.
"If you happen to be out and see some litter, please pick it up and throw it away," she said.
The city supports Keep Grove City Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.
This is a non-profit volunteer effort to promote, educate and motivate all citizens to keep the environment clean. Some opportunities to help include the adopt a street or park program. Organizations, families or individuals can adopt a street or park and agree to keep it clean throughout the year. Supplies are provided. You could also be part of the Great American Cleanup, which is an annual event held in April or May to clean community streets, parks and streams.
For additional information on Keep Grove City Beautiful, log onto www.grovecityohio.gov.