Community Tired of the Trash

by Kirby Gibbs

Angelina County, TX (KTRE) -

Hurricane Ike has come and gone, and the debris that it left behind has been cleaned up throughout most of Angelina County, but there's one community that is still having some problems with waste issues. Now, the issue isn't the result of a natural disaster, instead, it's a manmade one.

Some residents in the community of Rivercrest are saying this mess has been an eye sore for long enough. It's time to do something about it.

Angelina County's Litter Abatement Officer, A.L. Blangger says he's been doing what he can about the endless calls that come in about the trash problem. He says, "when people go dump in the woods, dump trash in the creeks, I'm the one that has to go check on it go through the trash and look at it.

The trash seems to go on for miles. There are thousands of beer cans, discarded food cartons, food and other waste. Officer Blangger has even found old boats, cars, tires, broken down trailers, and baby toys and the list goes on.

There are a few people who have accounts with Pineywoods Sanitation to have their garbage removed, but it looks like it's not enough to make a difference. We did some research to see what else is being done. For starters, the Angelina County Sheriff's Department on occasion will use jail inmates to clean up county roads. The sheriff's department has also put up signs like these, warning dumpers against littering.

"We're hoping that with surveillance cameras we may catch some of these people dumping this trash" says Blangger. Besides that, Blangger says there's not much else being done. While covering this story we found some residents who said fixed incomes and health reasons limit what they can do. One resident admitted to us that she just couldn't muster up the energy to clean up the trash in her yard. Another resident who declined to go on camera told us he liked living the country life, free of city ordinances and other restrictions.

Until a formal complaint is made with the Angelina County Health District, it's up to the residents of Rivercrest to handle the problem. Other community members we spoke told us cleaning up the place sounds nice, but it'll be a hassle getting the people together long enough to get it done. And keep in mind, there are penalties for littering. Violators can be fined up to 2 thousand dollars and spend up to 6 months in jail.