Snow Melts, Trash Surfaces

By Christine Souders |

Published 04/04 2014 07:00PM

Updated 04/04 2014 07:15PM

BURLINGTON, VT- Mark this on your calendar, Green Up Day is Saturday, May 3rd.

But the annual sign of spring in Vermont could be in jeopardy.

According to the president of "Green Up Vermont," if the current funding trend continues Green Up could end after 2015.

This could happen if corporate funding isn't replaced by an increase in state money and community donations.

A bill already passed by the house would make that happen.

A public hearing will be held next week to talk about it.

Governor Peter Shumlin and Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott will be there.

You can already see some trash out there.

Especially along the Greenbelt between the curb and sidewalks.

That brings up the questions, who's responsible for cleanin it up? And are there penalities you could face?

If code enforcement asks you to pick up litter near where you live, you better, otherwise, it's a ticketable offense.

$100 dollars for the first time if you don't remove it, and if it happens again within a 12 month period, it's a 200 dollar fine.

Old newspapers, cardboard boxes, and just about anything you can think of.

Andrew Champagne said, "It's been a rough winter, and we have had problems with trash and recycling."

Katie Macuga runs along Riverside in Burlington, and she said the trash, is not a pretty picture, "It's definitely a little bit distracting just to see it everywhere, it seems like everyone just ignores it a little bit. It definitely takes away from the experience."

But it's not just looks, Bill Ward, the Director of Code Enforcement said it's also a safety issue, "You have a less than 50 percent capacity for this storm drain to actually get the storm water off of the street. So it has a really big impact when we have a storm event."

Ward added the department responds to many complaints this time of year about litter.

"More often than not, it's the exact same property that it's in front of, but the people may not consider it trash because it's been put out for collection, but if it's been out for a week, it's not being collected, it's trash and it needs to be removed," said Ward.

But with trash cluttering up the streets, it's heard to determine who the culprit is since it's not in front of a residence, rental property, or business. So who is responsible for picking it up?

Bill Ward said, "We'll find out where it's at, determine if it's a property owner responsibility, and if not we will ask for DPW assistance, the Department of Public Works has trucks. They'll go out and pick things up for us, and make sure it goes in the proper trash recepticle."

But homeowner, Andrew Champagne, said all it takes is a little due diligence, "Don't be afraid to go with a garbage bag and clean up. It's contagious. It'll make you feel better, and these streets when they're clean are very beautiful."

If you see trash, code enforcement asks you to report it through the See Click Fix application online.

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