DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) – It may seem harmless to just flick a cigarette butt out of the car while driving down the road.
But, it’s that trash as well as empty food and drink containers that piles up.
“Not only is it adding up and it’s sitting there, but then eventually it’s going to get washed down a storm drain and into the Conasauga River,” Keep Dalton Whitfield Beautiful Director Amy Hartline said.
In 2017, 200,000 pounds of litter was picked up from Dalton and Whitfield County roadways.
But, the city is hoping to change that through stronger enforcement.
Now, if you get caught in the act, don’t expect a warning, expect a citation.
“We decided that it was really important to increase that enforcement, to prevent it from ever happening in the first place, the idea is, hopefully we won’t have to enforce it too much after while because people will just stop littering,” Hartline said.
The Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Keep Dalton Whitfield Beautiful to help battle litter.
It’s a priority identified in their 5-year strategic plan, “Believe Greater Dalton.”
“We did surveys and focus groups at the beginning, 2,020 people answered our surveys and then hundreds of people attended our focus groups and cleaning up our community came up over and over again as a high priority for our citizens,” Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce CEO Rob Bradham said.
“Believe Greater Dalton” is about addressing six most pressing issues for the Dalton and Whitfield County communities.
“Those are downtown, redevelopment, education, entrepreneurship, economic development, and community pride,” Bradham said.
As for littering, citations aren’t cheap and could cost you any where between $200 to $1,000.