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Marshal, Richmond County leaders seek community to help crack down on trash

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - The fight against illegal dumping in the Garden City will soon get some extra help.  Next month, the Richmond County Marshal's Office and Richmond County leaders will team up to stop it.

From old tires to people chucking old bags of fast food out of their cars, Marshal Ramone Lamkin wants to enlist community members in the fight to keep the CSRA clean. So, he's launching Operation Community Unity.

"If you allow litter, you allow graffiti, you allow trash, and other disorders, it's going to allow the other crimes, it's going to allow bigger crimes to come in that area," explained Marshal Ramone Lamkin.

It's the broken window theory, smaller crimes lead to bigger crimes. And Richmond County Marshal Ramone Lamkin wants to put a stop to old tires and other trash going into neighborhoods.

"We have deputies right now [who are] being proactive. They are out there patrolling. They're doing things, but it's going to take more to get our community clean and safer," he said.

Starting now until March 20, individuals and organizations can clean trash up in their communities. The Environmental Services Department will provide 15 roll-off trash containers at request city-wide.

People can request a trash container through Keep Augusta Beautiful, which will serve as the intake entity.

Environmental Services Director Lori Videtto said, "There are places where people will typically find a lot of illegal dumping or find a lot of places that traditionally have a lot of litter on the ground. But that is where we really need the community to step up and let us know hey, we're here to help. We're here to do this. We'll give you the tools to do it."

City Hope Alliance Executive Director Rick Keuroglian also joined the collaborative effort.  He said, "We've heard many neighborhoods that have felt distressed. Olde Town, Harrisburg, East Augusta, Laney-Walker Bethlehem area, these are areas we know are distressed and neglected. This is an opportunity for you to do something."

The clean up period ends with a combined City Serve Day and Earth Day April 21.

Lamkin added, "You have the water sitting in those tires and you have the mosquitoes carrying diseases. It leads to so many other things that can cause our neighborhoods to go down and the environment to go down."

To request one of the 15 trash containers to clean your community contact Keep Augusta Beautiful at 706.312.4125.

We also spoke with the Marshal about ways to report littering, such as when people throw it out of their cars. He said you can call the Marshal's Office at 706.821.2368.  Lamkin said they will even take pictures of tag numbers, but will not be able to charge anyone.  He said the office can talk with that person. However, if you take video of the incident, the culprit can be charged.


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