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Athens soon to issue citations to businesses for litter problems

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Photos of stores leaving cardboard boxes, crates, wooden pallets and even toilets across their property have city leaders ready to send people to court for littering.

On Monday, Sanitation Manager Earl Glaze gave a presentation to the Athens City Council that showed trouble spots in the city.

The photos included Dollar General stores, Badcock Furniture, Handy TV, Rent-A-Center, Days Inn, W.E. Estes and Sons and Athens Florist and alleys on the square.

The photos also included city-owned property, such as the former recycling center and former Street and Sanitation Department shed.

Both sites have windblown tin and caving roofs and walls.

Glaze said businesses are the "major contributors to litter."

He said businesses often pile cardboard and leave bags on
the ground beside their Dumpsters.

Council members said police should warn them once and then issue citations.

Police Chief Wayne Harper said his officers have con-centrated on residential litter because that's where he receives most complaints.

Residential problems include people piling bags on top of or around their trash containers or leaving multiple bags on the street after doing major home cleaning.

Glaze said the city should have a person dedicated to looking for litter violations and writing citations.

The municipal judge and city prosecutor need to ensure violators face fines and community service time, which is part of the city's new litter policy, he said.

"You can put this in the paper to let residents and business owners know," Council President Harold Wales said. "Get it cleaned up now because here we come."

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