Petition demands fix to litter problem in Pender County

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Neighbors talking trash in Pender County. An online petition is on its way to ask county leaders to address an ongoing issue of littering.

Pender County continues to grow and one neighbor wants to see a movement from the beaches to past Burgaw to reduce littering.

“We’ve got to do better,” said Samantha Worrell.

Worrell started the petition after a series of times she and her family and friends cleaned up litter around the county. The straw that broke the camel’s back for Worrell was when multiple tires were dumped along her road.

“We’ve had bath tubs dumped on our road,” said Worrell.

We followed Worrell out along Highway 210 near Lane’s Ferry were a pile of debris lays just past the Northeast Cape Fear River Bridge.

“We see all this trash that is going to break down and end up in this river right next to us,” Worrell said.

Worrell’s online petition has more than 150 signatures.

In it she listed the following requests from the county:

  • Equip all county owned buildings, parks and beaches with recycling bins and trash cans.
  • Make sure that all local businesses are following the laws and guidelines for recycling and encourage them to have recycling containers available for patrons.
  • Post no dumping signs in the areas that are impacted the most by illegal dumping.
  • Work with local officials in the beach towns and make our beaches smoke free.
  • Send out flyers or put up signs to get the message out to residents and tourist that we want and expect a clean county and why.
  • Call for a county-wide pick up day every 6 months, where citizens come together within their communities and commit to collecting at least one bag of trash per person and disposing of it properly.
  • Consider allowing people to dump their trash for a small (very small) fee if they do not have a sticker. (Free if it is community trash pick up day)
  • Oppose offshore drilling.

“It’s not healthy for us and we need county leaders to step up and put some initiative into this and it might take a little money, but it’s worth it in the long run,” said Worrell.

Cleaning up roadways like Highway 210 surprisingly is not as easy as it sounds. The county, in fact, has no jurisdiction to clean it up.

“The county is not in the road business,” said Pender County Commission Chairman George Brown. “We don’t have the responsibility, we don’t have the authority.”

The authority lies with NCDOT and their local road maintenance crews. It’s a department with the amount of staff you can count on one hand. That’s the same case for the facilities department with the County, they have only four groundskeepers that handle upkeep of the county parks.

You can contact the road maintenance team at 910-259-5413.

Categories: Local, Pender