Program with tarps will help outdoor cleanliness

May. 20, 2013 @ 05:56 PM

Waste Industries Vance County is doing its part to raise residents’ awareness of the unsightly, ongoing roadside litter problem that exists in Henderson.

They have begun giving away 120 free eight-by-10 foot tarps, supplied through a partnership between “Keep North Carolina Beautiful” and Walmart.

The tarp awareness campaign administered by “Keep America Beautiful” provides a program that offers free tarps and educational materials to residents hauling waste at local convenience centers and landfills.

“We’re going to begin distributing to residents when they come into the transfer station,” said Lee Bodenhamer, general manager at Waste Industries Vance County. “It is against the law to haul waste without a tarp over it, and that’s regardless of whether it’s a residential vehicle or a commercial vehicle.”

Bodenhamer estimated between 15 and 20 residents a day visit the transfer center, located on N.C. 39 North in Henderson.

Information provided through KNCB’s tarp awareness campaign says having non-secured items in a truck bed contributes to dangerous and unsightly roadside litter, caused as bumps, turns and sudden stops dislodge improperly secured loads.

According to North Carolina law, “When litter is blown, scattered, spilled, thrown, or placed from a vehicle or watercraft, the operator thereof shall be presumed to have committed this offense.”

Bodenhamer says Waste Industries regularly maintains all collection and transport vehicle covers to minimize or eliminate blowing waste.

“That is what we are doing to make sure we are not a culprit,” Bodenhamer said.

Efforts to keep Vance County litter-free are ongoing, and most recently received a boost during April when the Vance County Appearance Commission presented Henderson-Vance Spring Litter Sweep.

After a week of trash collection with nearly 350 volunteers participating, nearly 200 bags of trash and recyclable items were found on streets, near homes, businesses, churches and schools.

“I hope that with the efforts by the county along with Waste Industries, we can raise the awareness of the residents on this unsightly problem,” Bodenhamer said.

Informative brochures as well as a copy of the “Tarp It or Risk a Ticket” panel will be given to customers of the transfer station and convenience sites once all tarps have been given away.

Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com.