Many parks, highways, city streets, and county roads in Mississippi are now litter-free thanks to individuals on supervision with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Parolees, probationers, and others have spent many hours on weekends bagging litter in a majority of the 82 counties under a beautification initiative started a month ago. So far, 3,000 bags of trash have been removed.
The anti-litter campaign is continuing this month and will be an ongoing project as an option for individuals required to perform community service.
“This initiative is a response to a common request from counties and cities for help with trash pickup,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “The department is always looking for ways to help make the most of resources when our dollars are limited.”
Hall added that the amount of litter is a poor reflection on her native state.
“Depending on where you go, you might see a tremendous amount of trash,” Hall said. “This is not an acceptable image for neither our residents nor visitors.”
Targeted areas range from small communities to some of the busiest interstates in the state. For example, 17 people on supervision picked up enough trash from a park and streets in Shubuta in Wayne County to fill more than 50 bags in a detail overseen by Probation and Parole agents from Clarke, Wayne, Lauderdale, and Kemper counties.
In Monticello, 19 individuals on supervision gathered more than 150 bags of trash from Atwood Water Park on May 26th and May 29th.
During the May 5th weekend, 125 people on supervision in Region III, Area IV, which includes Jackson, George, Greene, Stone, Harrison, and Hancock counties, picked up trash along I-10 from Mississippi to the Alabama and Louisiana state lines. They found tires, furniture, bottles, food containers, building materials, stuffed animals, purses, and drug paraphernalia, which was turned over to local law enforcement.
Counties or cities can determine the location of the litter pick up. They are providing snacks, bags, pickup sticks, and reflective vests. The Mississippi Department of Transportation also is assisting the MDOC by providing bags and helping with disposal.