Several citizens are raising concerns about the litter scattered across the county. The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office has provided the Roadside Litter Pick-Up Program since 2018.
When Bladen County Sheriff’s Office first capitalized on the inmates with misdemeanor crimes at the Bladen County Law Enforcement and Detention Center to help clean up the county, 2.25 tons of trash and 500 pounds of furniture were picked up within two months.
Captian David Shaw with the Sheriff’s Office manages the litter pickup program but reports since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit Bladen County, the Program has been shut down.
The Program usually works 20 inmates to pick up garbage and debris around the county safely. However, since the courts held limited sessions and with the COVID-19 safety guidances, the Program faces too many challenges for it to work as it should. Captian Shaw says the “Program that saves the county a lot of money had to be put on hold. We only have about five inmates that would qualify to help with the Program now.”
The cleanup is important, but the inmates’ safety is the detention center’s primary focus, Captian Shaw explained.
Sheriff Jim McVicker said, “Nobody wants the cleanup worse than I do because our county looks terrible.”
Captian Shaw mentions the need for the Adopt-A-Highway and the Sponsor-A-Highway programs to be utilized more. Those interested in adopting or sponsoring a highway have a user-friendly tool that shows routes available for cleanup in all 100 North Carolina counties thanks to a new litter management website and interactive map.
North Carolina Department of Transportation announced today the 2021 Spring Litter Sweep is taking place April 10-24.
Traditionally scheduled for the last two weeks of April and September, Litter Sweep is the N.C. Department of Transportation’s biannual statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Residents throughout the state participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina’s roadways.
In addition to volunteers, NCDOT maintenance crews devote one week of their time to pick up litter and collect orange bags placed on the roadsides by volunteer pickups.
Volunteers are provided cleanup supplies, such as reversible orange/blue trash bags, gloves, and orange safety vests, from their local NCDOT County Maintenance Yard office.
To participate in Litter Sweep, contact Becky White Walker with the NCDOT litter program at 910-862-3396. She will get your team set up with supplies.