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'If We Stop, This Will Be The Filthiest Town'

One Shelton resident addressed the aldermen about the city's littering problem.

The Board of Aldermen made a resolution to reinforce the city's littering ordinance after two members of the Anti-Litter Committee spoke at a public meeting. Aldermanic president John F. Anglace, Jr. reminded residents that littering carries fines up to $250. The following is one of the letters presented to the Board:

My name is Anne Kissel and I’m a resident of Shelton.

I would like to address the litter problem in Shelton.

Mr. Anglace you, and maybe others of you may have seen me picking up litter along Long Hill Avenue weekly from Soundcrest Drive to Long Hill Crossroad.  Some residents may think I’m homeless or destitute because I’ve had people come out of their homes and offer me bottles and cans for return. I say no thank you, I’m just trying to get them OFF the street. 

For those of you who don’t LIVE on a main artery, you may not encounter as much litter as Long Hill Ave or Mill Street, but just take a drive around town and look – how can you ignore this problem? And how can you rely on only Volunteers?

As YOU know, but what few residents know, is that street cleanup is strictly voluntary in Shelton. I say this is too big of a town for volunteers to handle.  Besides posting this call for volunteers PROMINENTLY on our town site to encourage others to participate, I feel we need to get more people included and I have some suggestions on how to do this. 

I know that the State is responsible for the state roads in town, but they don’t clean it often, and the littering happens on a daily basis. Bridgeport Ave. Is a prime example – we have spent Saturdays as a group picking up many bags of bottles, cans, coffee cups, fast food packaging, along with liquor bottles, diapers, and just about anything else you can name.

You must all be aware that the Shelton Anti-Litter committee has the annual Clean Sweep Program, and we have several girl scout and cub scout groups that participate. But does a big town like this really want to put little girls and boys on the street to clean up? Is this what our town is about?

We really should have at least two dedicated cleanup personnel to constantly police the town. I’m sure your answer is we don’t want to hire any more people, but do you want to see our town turn into a slum? Currently, the volunteers are saving the town THOUSANDS of dollars working for NO pay picking up tires, mattresses, many bulk items besides paper and bottle litter, and if we STOP, this will be the filthiest and most embarrassing town around. 

We have an AA rating, but we don’t want our town to be considered DIRTY, but without action, it will become just that. Many volunteers are ready to quit, because the problem is growing and no one else seems to care. Then you will see how big the problem is. As a taxpayer and proud citizen, I would be willing to pay an extra $10 a year to ensure that someone paid is out there picking up litter. I plan on moving south before the year is out...Then WHO is going to clean up Long Hill Avenue?

The Shelton Adopt-A-Street program is making slow but steady progress in getting volunteers to take responsibility for a chosen street, or part of one, but its simply not enough. I’m wondering why hasn’t taken the lead and adopted a street. 

I’d also like to address the lack of enforcement in policing littering. We already have the ordinance in effect to stop this but if no one is using them, what is the point of having passed them?

For example, amidst all the litter I found on Long Hill Ave recently, I found garbage which included prescriptions for two separate people. On the Rx slips were their names, phone numbers, and addresses. I phoned them both – one person in Milford, and the other a Buddington Road resident. Both of them tossed their garbage onto Long Hill Avenue in the field before the school. I notified them that I found their garbage and prescription slip and wanted to make them aware that there is a $250 fine for littering in our town, and how would THEY like it if I drove over to THEIR home and dumped litter on their front lawn? I told them next time I find anything like that, I will bring it to the and have them fined for littering.

Surprise…Neither of them phoned me back.

But do you honestly think that the Police would have done anything about it? I asked two people in City Hall, and they both said they probably wouldn’t do anything about it. I hope that’s not true, because if the Police don’t care, who is going to care? Who is going to enforce the ordinances?

Sadly, many phone books dropped along the roadside are left there by residents for weeks and months. Many residents don’t bother to go out to the curb and pick up their stray garbage, or litter left by others. The residents AND businesses alike need to be made accountable for keeping the front of their properties litter-free, and we already have the ordinances in place and I would like to point them out to you and in fact, give you a copy (see attached .pdfs).

I believe the city of Shelton needs to somehow notify residents and business owners that THEY bear the responsibility of keeping the street side of their properties clean. This includes property kept by the Gas Co. or pipeline people, because NO one is picking up along their area on Long Hill Avenue. 

I have already approached a few businesses about cleaning up the curb and fronts of their properties as a matter or pride, and specifically informed me they don’t own the front of their property, and only clean the parking lot. 

I would like to see correspondence sent to every address in town notifying them about keeping their property fronts clean from litter, and that they must police the curbs for litter property on a regular basis.

I also would like to hear from you how the city of Shelton can enforce the ordinances we have to FINE litterers, and how we can make everyone maintain their property along the street, including hiring dedicated employees to do what we volunteers are tired of doing. I'ts very frustrating to clean up a big street, and see it littered again in a matter of days.

Joanie March 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Just last night, while driving home, my husband and I commented on the "garbage" in the middle of the road on Mill Street. It was littered with fast food packaging and drink cups. What is worse is that the very narrow street is dangerous to walk on which makes clean up on that street worthy of hazardous duty pay!! Start now and teach your kids to respect our town and if you are guilty of this habit...change your ways! And volunteer for Clean Sweep if you can.... thanks!
Bryan Lizotte March 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Geat Job Anne! My wife and I always clean the stray garbage on our street.
Jack Kaplan March 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM
You are missing the point. As taxpayers we want to know why town workers aren't doing town clean up as part of their job duties. I understand there are several town maintainence workers collecting workers compensation. Can't they do it? Just a thought. Come on mayor lead. Let's solve this problem once and for all!
Carol March 12, 2012 at 01:39 PM
What ever happened to pride in ownership? There's a house on Waverly Rd. that has tree limbs in the front yard since the Hurricane last summer, police tape and all. The phone books are the responsibility of the people who live in the house- don't want them - throw them away! If every household picked up in front of their own home, this would be a much smaller issue than it is becoming. There s absolutely no reason for people to be lazy and throw garbage on our streets, however, as citizens, we have a responsibility to pick up garbage on our own front lawns. That goes for owners & renters alike. Take some pride in where you live, don't expect anyone else to clean up your space even if you aren't the one who put the garbage there. Let's show some pride in our city by promoting good manners and respect for others property. Let's teach the kids from a young age how wrong it is to throw garbage out the car window or just drop it whereever they feel. All of our High School kids needs to complete community service time. Maybe a few days cleaning up garbage might instill in them the importance of not littering. Just suggestions...It starts at a yound age and kids follow by example.
AnneInShelton March 12, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Carol, you are SO right! Thank you. Thank you all. But I want to say again, I addressed the Board as a Resident of Shelton. I didn't speak representing the Anti-litter committee, but yes, I am a member. Many on the committee regularly pick up LOTS of litter. I will keep their names private - they can comment here, but I comment them for their hard work. I just want to bring awareness to the litter problem and encourage others to take pride in their own properties and volunteer to a little more ..... to keep our town clean!
Leah Salomoni (Editor) March 12, 2012 at 03:21 PM
"I drive both of the roads every day to work and it breaks my heart to see what we continually do to them. I have personally cleaned the streets around my house and over at Hope Lake on Nells Rock Road dozens of times over the years and it ...does not take long to become a mess again. I will say this, that alot of the trash on my street comes from the garbage men making a mess when they pick up, not from my neighbors littering." -Peter Conway (Shelton Patch Facebook page)
KP March 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM
It's also the people who don't use garbage cans on collection day. They simply put the plastic bags on the street and the wind or animals help to spread the trash everywhere. It's really a shame.
AnneInShelton March 12, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Leah, thank you SO much for picking up trash created by too many thoughtless people. And Peter Conway raises and issue, too. Trash also falls off dump type trucks and other hauling vehicles if not properly secured... we've all seen it happen. I hope all residents take pride in their areas and please, pick up litter from around your property .... or wherever you are and spot it around town. Thank you!
AnneInShelton March 12, 2012 at 09:23 PM
KP you are absolutely correct and again, people need to know better!

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