SUNDAY FOCUS: Anti-litter committee wants efforts increased

Published 7:26 pm Saturday, July 7, 2018

A group of local individuals are committed to battling litter in Vicksburg and Warren County, while also bringing awareness to the community about the negative impact litter has environmentally, as well as economically.

Carol McMillin, who is the North Ward representative on the Keep Vicksburg Beautiful Committee, is also a member of the anti-littering sub-committee of KVBC. Vicksburg has been her home for 43 years and she wants people to take pride in their community.

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“Vicksburg is a wonderful city, rich in natural beauty and graced by the mighty Mississippi River,” McMillin said. “It is where I had my career and where I raised my family. I consider it a privilege to live here.”

She said that privilege comes with a responsibility. “And I believe we all need to be responsible for making sure our city is not littered.

“We all need to be good stewards of our community and our entire environment. We have so much to enjoy and so much to share with others, our history and our hospitality, but it all pales when our city is littered with food containers, bottles, and other discarded items.”

She and the KVBC would like for Vicksburg to increase its recycling efforts. McMillin said she came across an interesting statistic that the Environmental Protection Agency estimates every American generates 4.3 pounds of garbage every day, which means 1,569.5 pounds for each person every year. With the U.S. population now at 285 million, this equals to 447,307.5 million pounds of trash every year.

“This should get all of us moved out of complacency and involved in recycling,” McMillin said.

McMillin said there are three primary goals of the anti-litter committee they call “the three E’s” of their campaign – educate, enforce and eliminate.

It begins with educating and informing the public in regards to the cost of litter on the community. It is expensive and taxes city crews and finances to pick up litter, but there is also lost revenue in tourism and business opportunities due to the amount of trash noticeable on roadways.

The anti-litter campaign also supports the city and law enforcement in enforcing the litter ordinance, making the public aware of the existing ordinance and informing them it will be enforced.

And lastly, to clean up Vicksburg’s litter.

“I was taught there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place,” McMillin said. “Litter does not belong on our streets, along our roadways and in our parks and recreational areas. Litter should be discarded properly.”

The Keep Vicksburg Beautiful Committee wants the public to get involved in the anti-litter campaign and will meet July 19 at 3 p.m. in the Community Development Building, 819 South Street (the old library).

“I hope that our efforts will be joined by all of Vicksburg, because it will take all of us to keep our city clean and free of litter,” McMillin said.