Trashing East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/11/06-Smith County

Trashing East Texas

Smith County roads have been filling up with litter, but it's not because no one is trying to keep them clean. Constable Frank Creath says a once successful county litter program is on hold because of disputes over trash bags, and trash collection. 

"I don't know why people are so apt to throw out their trash, but they are. We could go out and clean a road, and then the very next week, go back and clean up the same road again,"Creath said.

And for the last five or six months, that's what Creath has been doing. Every Sunday, he and a group of Smith County probationers, would come to the Precinct 2 office, and head out to gather up road side trash.

"So the first, three or four weeks, it went real good. We had trash bags. We had someone to pick them up. We were able to dispose of it, and then one Sunday, I didn't have any trash bags, so I had to go buy them. And then, that was a pattern for several weeks. I'd just have to go buy the bags. 

A bag shortage wouldn't be his only problem. A decision in the Commissioner's Court stopped the trash collection.

"I was unable to get the trash picked up by road and bridge. Not necessarily their fault. It's not their fault they don't have the funds or the man power, it's just one of those things we're going to have to work out," Creath said.

Now, he's got a pile of trash outside his office, and more gathering along roadsides in his precinct.

"I've talked to adult probation. They said we need to get together, we need to have a meeting, and get the program up and running again, and I'm all for it.  I'm just waiting for a meeting.".

Creath says there are hundreds of probationers that could be picking up all of this trash along Smith County roads, but until a plan gets put back in place, he says he can't do anything about it.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting. lwilcox@kltv.com

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