VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Over 75 tons of trash, including mattresses, TVs, tires and couches, have been removed from Vigo County this summer, according to officials.
Vigo County Commissioner Chris Switzer said those numbers don’t include trash thrown out by the city. Although a majority of cleaning efforts were completed this summer, Switzer said that local engagement in cleaning the community took off last spring.
“Last year with the pandemic starting a lot of people we’re just sitting at home worrying what was going on, but they also got outside and started picking up trash,” he said. “That triggered county government to get involved with our highway department and building inspection, all kinds of people to get trash picked up.”
Trash was collected through various methods including dumpsters located at the highway building. But, Switzer said a majority of the trash collected came from township cleanup days.
“Community members really want to be more involved with cleaning up trash, whether that’s their neighbors trash or picking up something along the ditch,” he added. “I think they’re turning out to clean up this community. As things progress with the convention center and casino and things like that we definitely want to have a clean community.”
To combat increased littering, earlier this year Vigo County installed new signs and increased littering fines. More information about this proposal can be found in the link below.
Although Switzer said there is no confirmed correlation, littering and dumping numbers are substantially lower compared to the last two years.
“For Vigo County, especially a river community, it’s important to have a clean community,” Switzer said. “As we look to raise people out of poverty and have more involvement in this community. We want to show good faith, we have a good clean community and that community members are actively participating. That includes local government.”
Cleaning efforts are extending into the city of Terre Haute. Volunteer Bryan Horsman said there is a need to service popular areas of attraction.
“Impressions are what’s really important,” Horsman said. “Keeping downtown clean is what’s really important to a lot of people and those first impressions go a long way. Keeping downtown clean is going to be a long term goal for a long-term goal for a lot of people.”
Horsman said he thinks Terre Haute has shown improvements in cleaning up litter. Going forward, Switzer said the addition of township cleanups for next year is possible.