City moving forward with crack down on litter

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News 12 First at Five/ Monday, July 24, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Earlier this year Augusta city leaders said they wanted more departments to find ways to crack down on litter. This week the Planning and Development Department is taking on the challenge by adding to the city ordinance.

Folks who clean these streets every week say there's still a long way to go. Every weekend Glen Ford's volunteer group Operation Clean City comes through downtown and lives up to their namesake by cleaning the city.

"Yeah that's what we're trying to crack down on, it's a slow start," Ford said.

He's been at it for a few years now. Even after hours picking up over the weekend, on a Monday afternoon, it can look like this again.

While his crews are picking up a seemingly uphill battle, the city has been stepping in with new measures as well. This week it's a new way to try and tackle posters, signs, and ads on city property and the right of ways, something you see all over the city.

"Yeah, they just leave them there, I don't think they ever go back and get them because it's free advertising," Ford said.

Before the signs weren't considered litter, now they will be which means the people who put them out can be fined or ticketed. But there's a problem, the marshals are the ones who have to enforce it. Ford met with the mayor and the marshal's office to talk about trying to crack down on the trash problem.

"He said that it's very hard to do that, you have to catch someone in the act," he said.

Which means it might be hard to actually stop this from happening.

"That's a waste of resources I guess if you just have people on foot patrol looking for litterers," Ford said.

Ford has ideas outside of fees and rules to make Augusta cleaner.

"Yeah I've talk to the mayor and his chief of staff as well and we're talking about things like the placement of the bins," he tells News 12 NBC 26.

He says just putting the trash cans in more convenient spots for people could help alleviate some of the litter. Laws, bins, or more hands on help, it's clear there's still a long way to go to clean up the downtown and beyond.