LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - “Pick It Up Calcasieu” is a new program from the Calcasieu Police Jury — which aims to reduce litter across the parish.
“My folks have lived on Prien Lake for the last 60 years, so all of my life has been spent on the water in our area," Eric Stevens, a resident excited about the initiative, said.
Which is why Stevens is so passionate about reducing litter in Calcasieu Parish.
“To drive around in boats and spend time on the water and see how much litter has accumulated is very disappointing. It breaks your heart when you drive around and look at it," Stevens said.
Stevens is a part of the Clean Bayou nonprofit organization, which works to reduce litter in our waterways. He said “Pick It Up Calcasieu” is something he can get behind.
The initiative is made up of three components to reduce the litter problem across Calcasieu, including:
- Education: The parish will increase educational programs at schools and businesses
- Pick up/clean up: The actual action of picking up litter around our area— whether individually or in organized groups
- Enforcement: The parish has their own litter code enforcement officer and has partnered up with local agencies to increase enforcement by giving citations to those who violate litter ordinances.
“Enforcement is a huge piece of this. We certainly couldn’t do this without law enforcement and we’re so glad that they are supporting us and helping us combat this issue," Wyvette Pryor-Cousin, the litter manager, said.
Cousin said illegal dumping is a parish-wide issue they see often.
“If it looks like it’s a lot that’s vacant and no one’s been there for a while, or no one lives there, they’re going and putting items there," Cousin said. "Then the person who owns the lot may come to cut the lawn or do other things and there’s all this litter there that doesn’t belong to them.”
In those cases of illegal dumping, Cousin said cameras will be installed in hot spot areas and investigations will follow.