Cleaner County

LITTER AND illegal dumping present an ugly problem. It is one experienced in all parts of the Ohio Valley.

A new program, however, will go a long way in easing such an unsightly issue in Belmont County.

The JB Green Team is funding the project which presents a no-lose scenario for Belmont County.

JB Green Team Executive Director Cliff Meyer spoke to county commissioners Wednesday outlining the endeavor, which is a being undertaken on a one-year trial period.

Meyer said the effort bids to clean up, identify and investigate sites within the county. Disturbingly, Meyer said that 200 sites have been identified at this point. That is a staggering total for one county.

The program is being made much more effective through the cooperation of Sheriff Dave Lucas. The sheriff is putting one of his deputies in charge of enforcing the program. Such a move puts much more bite and effectiveness into the venture which begins in November.

Two other pieces of a successful crackdown came in the form of public participation and proper prosecution.

Litter-control personnel can only do so much. When individuals see a littering incident or come across a dumpsite, they need to contact authorities. Upon arrest, those guilty of the messy offenses need prosecuted to the fullest. If convicted, harsh punishment needs to be rendered.

Such teamwork will go a long way in curbing a displeasing and widespread problem.

Making the project even more attractive is that it is paid for through disposal fees, not tax dollars.

We commend the JB Green Team for taking a proactive stance against littering and illegal dumpsites in Belmont County. We also applaud Sheriff Lucas for supporting the program.

The combined effort will undoubtedly yield a cleaner Belmont County.