Reader writes: Johnston County is a trash heap

January 3, 2014 

Relief from littering?

We were excited to move to Johnston County eight years ago with plans for retirement. Had we known the county was a virtual trash heap, we would have chosen differently.

We live off of Josephine Road, which is covered in roadside trash from Cornwallis Road to Cleveland Road, because Johnston County citizens who use the road as a cut-through to the county dump don’t secure their trash, and it blows everywhere. But this area is not the only eyesore. All over Johnston County, the trash on the roads is disgusting and unsightly.

My husband and I, along with concerned neighbors, went to the Johnston County Land Use Office in Smithfield several years ago to complain. We were told there were no plans to address the issue except to post a sign at the dump to please not litter. No signs could be posted assessing fines for littering, etc.

When we called County Commissioners, they gave us a number to call to report litterers. They said county prisoners could not be used to pick up trash on side roads, only on Interstate 40. A group of girl scouts picked up the trash on Josephine Road, and we were grateful for their efforts. But by the next weekend, you couldn’t tell anything had been done.

Recently, while I watched, two people who looked like county employees picked up trash on Josephine Road for maybe 15 minutes. But most of the time, they just stood around and talked to each other and left with absolutely no positive results.

It is embarrassing to have visitors because of this unsightly situation. We have traveled North Carolina from one end to the other, and without exception, Johnston County is the trashiest we have come across. South Carolina has billboards stating “Our State Is NOT a Trashcan.” Signs with fines for littering are prevalent throughout South Carolina.

I urge every Johnston County resident who is also concerned with this awful blight to contact the Land Use Office, Johnston County Commissioners and any other county officials who might give us some relief from this unsightly and nasty situation in the county we call home.

Carolyn H. Lawing

Cleveland community

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