Whitesburg KY

County attorney’s office pledges to crack down on litter violators

The Letcher County Attorney’s Office announced this week that it will begin to “actively prosecute” any person charged with littering.

Assistant County Attorney James A. Hubbard has pledged to prosecute persons who have unsightly trash around their homes as well as those who throw bottles, cans and fastfood containers out of a car window.

Hubbard said prosecuting litter bugs in necessary if the county ever hopes to be serious about becoming a tourism destination.

“There is much talk about tourism having great promise for economic development in our area,” Hubbard says in a letter to the editor published in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. “This seems very reasonable considering our natural beauty, our hiking trails, our friendly people, our central location and reasonable roads. Are tourists going to be impressed with litter? More importantly, are they going to come back and are they going to tell their friends to come? They will be impressed but not in a positive way.”

Hubbard said a crackdown on litter by the court system has become even more necessary now because parents and teachers aren’t speaking out against it as well now as they did

“When I was growing up, there was much less traffic, no fast food restaurants and no convenience stores,” Hubbard says in the letter. “The beer cans rusted and there were no plastic containers. We picked up the glass bottles for deposit. Yet, even then, there was an obvious public consciousness about the detrimental effects of litter.

“. . . We had signs that warned of the penalties of littering. We had teachers that taught us that littering was something that socially responsible children and adults do not do

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attendance. or tolerate. Back then we did not have the advantage of countywide garbage pick-up. We do now and we must use it.”

Hubbard said that persons convicted of violating litter laws may be fined up to $500 and sentenced to a year in jail.

“Throwing litter onto the roadways of our beautiful county is a serious crime,” he says in the letter. “Even more discouraging is the reality that those who throw litter from their cars do not appreciate the lack of respect they show for themselves and for everyone else traveling our roads.

“There is a social cost in that everyone’s life is less than it could be because we have to look at ugly, disrespectful, sorry litter (garbage),” Hubbard’s letter adds. “There is an economic cost in that the litter must be removed. Men and women have to be paid to pick up after adults who intentionally break the law and show a total lack of pride in our beautiful mountains. This attitude must change.”

Hubbard says there simply is no excuse for anyone in Letcher County to litter.

“To me it seems so simple to put your litter in a bag until you get home and then put it in the garbage can where it belongs,” his letter says. “All the service stations and restaurants have trash cans that make it easy to clean out our cars when we fill up our tanks and/or our bellies. Our litter and garbage must end up in the landfill not on the sides of the roads. If it does not, we are all to blame for sitting back and allowing it to happen.”

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