Keep it clean: Sioux City official shows why people need to pitch in to fight litter problem
By Ross Caniglia, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Meteorologist - bio | email
Trash piles in a ravine are an example of why Sioux City is launching new anti-litter campaign.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Out of sight out of mind, right? One Sioux City official isn't settling for that slogan as he tackles the city's litter problem, which has grown to include old appliances and a mucky mess.
Alongside one of Sioux City's streams, you'll find plenty of trees, dirt, and a laundry machine.
"It's a little surprising to see," said Derek Carmona, Sioux City Environmental Services Analyst.
It's just one of many items in this ravine that seem a little "out of place."
"Part of a skateboard," said Carmona. "I don't know what that is, random car parts,?"
This stuff didn't get here overnight. Derek Carmona, says it's been gradually piling up.
"All of the outlets from the surrounding homes and businesses in the area all flow down into this ravine, and because of the amount of debris that we have in the ravine from trees and shrubs and whatnot, it clogs up," said Carmona.
Cleaning up trash like this is no cheap task. Last year the city dished out about $70,000 taxpayer dollars.
This year, it could be even more.
"Maybe an up tick. I'm hoping that as people understand that there is a cost to this, that we want to keep our community looking nice, we want to keep our community clean, we're all responsible for it and hopefully people will start to understand, 'hey, I'm going to pick up after myself,'" said Carmona.
Money that Carmona says could be used for other city projects, like filling up potholes and doing general street repairs.
Carmona says funneling cash in the right direction is an easy concept, but requires a community-wide effort.
"Every individual is in charge of this. Every individual needs to look out for it, and we all do our part and we don't have the mess," said Carmona.
An effort that could prevent household objects from showing up in a place where they can't be used.
Monday marks the launch of a campaign to encourage people to get involved in the clean-up effort.
The "We All Pay Campaign" is designed to educate about the effects of littering and show people how they can make their community a cleaner place to live.
Billboards, bus signs, and sidewalk stickers will be used to raise awareness about the project.
Carmona hopes the topic will make its way into day to day conversations.
"What do you think about that? What do you think about the cost associated with picking up litter? What can we do? Hey, can we volunteer? Get involved, volunteer to come out and help us clean," said Derek Carmona, Environmental Services Analyst.
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