Louisiana officials launch new task force to tackle state's litter problem
BATON ROUGE - A massive, decades-old pile of trash hidden behind the Burden Botanical Gardens off Essen is no longer the city's dirty little secret after it served as the meeting place for several state officials Tuesday.
The governor, lieutenant governor, East Baton Rouge mayor-president, and other community advocates announced a new task force dedicated to eradicating the state's litter problem.
"I don't know that in my lifetime the problem with litter has ever been worse than it is right now. It seems like this problem was exacerbated by COVID. Maybe it's the emphasis on drive-thrus and fast food places and so forth. I don't know what it is," Governor John Bel Edwards said.
The task force will work to find policy solutions, educate the public and promote community litter abatement activities.
"We need to educate. We need to change the negative behavior, inspire people to do the right thing and then we need to embarrass the ones that don't do the right thing," Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said.
The goal is to have a set of recommendations by July 1, but some people don't want to wait that long.
Jennifer Richardson and her 'Keep Tiger Town Beautiful' volunteers were not asked to speak but nonetheless have arguably made the biggest difference cleaning up the streets here locally.
"We got as many volunteers as we could, and we've been doing it every Saturday for the last year. We've picked up over 1,600 contractor bags of garbage," Richardson said.
The governor urging others to do the same.
"Nobody should wait and see what official actions the government is going to take, although we're going to take some," he said.
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