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Marion County creates litter task force to educate residents and stop illegal dumping

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Littering is an issue in Marion County. That’s why County Commissioners are creating a “litter task force” after collecting 1.5 million pounds of litter in 2020.

The mission of the task force is to educate and change the mindset and behavior of residents to help stop illegal dumping.

County Commissioner Craig Curry said the community needs to come together.

“This is something the community has to come together and want to stop and so we’re going to be the facilitator to put the effort together, but the community ultimately is going to come up with the game plan and the execution of that game plan.”

There’ll be seven voting members on the task force. Their job will be to help prepare a report for the commissioners after six months of research and give them ideas and suggestions on how to stop littering.

Marion County’s environmental services director said 84% of littering is intentional.

“It could be that people aren’t securing their loads and when I say that is they take it to recycling centers or the baseline facility or whatever they’re doing hauling the materials their just not securing it. It’s typical people just overlook it,” said Jody Kirkman.

Residents pay a solid waste fee of $87 each year. Simply throwing away your own trash could save you money.

“$6.61 of that goes purely to trash and pickup that’s over $900,000 a year in hard cost,” said Curry.

Curry added having volunteers pick up the trash costs more than $500,000 each year.

The task force starts in September.

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