Local residents speak out about litter problem in St. Joseph

St. Joseph residents raise concern about litter problem in St. Joseph at a City Council meeting on Monday, October 5.

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 2:18 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2020 12:44 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  At a recent City Council meeting, one community member expressed her concern about the litter problem in St. Joseph.  

Jenny Bigham addressed the council saying she know's there are much more important things going on in our city at the moment, but she believes that the look of the city is something that should always be taken care of.

“I just want another voice to be heard on the topic of litter," said Jenny Bigham.  "If I could have anything done in the city, it would be that.”

It has always been a concern for Bigham.  Jenny expressed that she was she heard another lady in town speak to the news about the litter problem and how it effects the morale of the city recently, and that inspired Jenny to address the counil at City Hall.

“It’s always been a concern of mine.  And something that I have decided, that if I’m the one who is bothered by it, then I should take action, so I frequently pick up the litter, and it sometimes seems like an uphill battle.”

Another St. Joseph resident who lives on Faraon street near the Belt Highway raised his concerns as well.

"I think all of these people should stand accountable. All of these fast-food restaurants should stand accountable," said Verrian Weston, a St. Joseph resident.  "Maybe we should have a litter tax? People know, they’re on their way to work. ‘Hey, they’re going to throw it out along here.’ Why should it be along here.?”

The city does have codes in place, but they say it something they need to take a second look at.  

According to Clint Thompson who is the Planning and Community Development Director, he said it is currently a violation to litter in St. Joseph.  

"The Police Department enforces it. It’s a difficult portion of the code to enforce because you have to catch the individual. Unless an officer sees the event occurring, it’s hard to fine the individual that is violating that section of the code.”

After Bigham addressed her concerns and ideas on the next steps, council members commented that fixing the problem will be a difficult change, but it something they are wanting to work on.  

“One of my plans actually is already an option, I just wasn’t aware of that.  So, that’s one of the main things; awareness, and people who do care, who feel like…’oh, I want to do something but I don’t know how, or what to do.’ There are actually already things that we can do.”

City council has scheduled a work session to discuss further the city's litter concerns on Monday, November 2.  The work session will take place at City Hall at 4:30 p.m.

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Rain chances continued on Tuesday afternoon for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Shower chances continue throughout the day Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. Wednesday we will see cooler temperatures across the area with highs only in the lower 40's. Temperatures will be on the mild side in the 40s and 50s into the later half of the week.
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