SWLA man fed up with litter problem throughout Calcasieu Parish

SWLA man fed up with litter problem throughout Calcasieu Parish
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - One Southwest Louisiana man is tired of constantly seeing litter near his home, and believes the parish isn't doing enough to combat the problem.

Bill Terry knows there is a litter control officer that is supposed to handle littering issues throughout the parish, but he doesn't understand why our parish has an officer if he can't issue tickets.

Ditches near Burton Shipyard Road outside of Carlyss are still filled with trash, frustrating Bill Terry.

"Nothing has been done about it," he said. "It's still the same existing problem that we've had."

He's lived outside of Carlyss for almost 40 years, and with more people coming to Southwest Louisiana he believes the problem is only getting worse.

"It's either flying out from the back of a pickup truck or they're thrown out by the individual because it's a remote road," he said.

Terry found out Calcasieu Parish has a litter control officer, but the officer can't write tickets.

"Until you get into somebody's pocketbook, you're not going to make an impact," he said.

Director of communications for the parish, Tom Hoefer says that officer can't enforce the law, but can contact law enforcement to issue tickets if necessary.

While Terry believes there isn't much value in that role without enforcing the law, Hoefer disagrees because the officer handles larger dumping issues.

"He is fantastic at investigating these incidents of dumping," said Hoefer. "More than 50 percent of the time we figure out who it is, and we get them to clean it up."

Hoefer believes enforcing their way out of littering isn't the answer, while Terry wants more to be done.

"You can talk the talk, but walking the walk is a different thing, and that's what we're not doing," he said. "We're not walking the walk."

Hoefer says the parish will be presenting a full report on the littering problem to the police jury in a few months. He says there could be a chance that the litter control officer could write tickets in the future.

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