LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky. -
Driving through Livingston County, Kentucky, Magistrate Terry Stringer sees a problem piling up. Trash litters the ditches and trees along the roads.
From plastic bags and Styrofoam cups, to cardboard boxes and full trash bags, Stringer said there are two issues. The first is littering and the second is people not securing trash as they haul it to the dump. Both are illegal under a county ordinance.
JoAnn Pruitt lives near the county dump site and said she sees people breaking both laws all the time.
"It looks like you don't keep up your house," she said. "There's garbage bags, there's pop bottles, there's cans." As a result she has to pick up litter in her yard four or five times a week.
Stringer hopes people like Pruitt will help him report problems when she sees them. Accountability, he said, will help.
In the meantime, he's no afraid to get his hands dirty to track down the owners of the trash he finds. He's already went through several bags looking for names and addresses and when he finds them, he turns them in. He encourages drivers to turn in license plates of anyone seen with trash toppling from their vehicles.
In addition to tracking down litter bugs, Stringer is asking the Sheriffs Department for help to pull over and cite anyone hauling trash without it properly secured. He's looking into raising the fine for littering from $500 to $1,000 and wants to get an educational program into the schools to help teach kids to respect their communities.