Last month was the annual Trash Off sponsored by the Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange. Two ladies that have been actively involved each Spring in picking up litter are Sandra Cash and Sandra Hoke.
The “Trashy Ladies” as they call themselves are part of the Keep Orange County Beautiful program. The two Sandras state without hesitation that there is too much litter in Orange County.
They both spoke at a recent City Council meeting in West Orange, and Hoke pointed out people throwing litter on the ground is an everyday problem and the amount of litter picked up has increased every year during the Trash Off. The trash picked up is just the tip of the iceberg. “I saw the area I picked up the very next day, and I counted this year there were twelve pieces of trash just from overnight, so it happens daily,” Hoke professed.
Getting people to have a change of attitude about throwing their drink cups or take out bags of fast food from their vehicles is a must. Cash emphasized litter ordinances in some municipalities should be more strictly enforced and with stiffer fines, suggesting as much as $500 per offense. She believes the West Orange litter ordinance written in 1976 is antiquated. Cash added, “I don’t think it’s enforced.”
West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald agreed people throwing litter on the road is a problem and adds his city is working to stop it. He cited South Street and other major thoroughfares in the city as being difficult to keep clear of trash and rubbish. “We do have an ordinance and we do have sizable penalties for doing that, however, we have to absolutely see the person throwing the rubbish out the window in order to get him for littering,” McDonald explained.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-