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The City of Sanford has contracted R.A.C.O Artsee Expression, LLC to assist with litter collection along approximately 60 miles of municipal roadways, which includes both shoulders.
Typically, the City contracts with the Sanford Correctional Center’s (SCC) work release program to allow offenders to help with litter collection. However, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 – especially when transporting inmates to and from a work site – SCC has halted the program.
With the City’s lean staff and without the assistance of the work release program, litter has increased on City streets and state highways over the past months. This statewide issue has led state lawmakers to introduce the Highway Cleanup Act of 2021. If passed, the bill would double fines for littering and allocate funding for local clean-up measures.
To keep the City’s roadways clear of trash, R.A.C.O Artsee Expression began litter pickup on Monday, February 8. As of February 17, it has collected 1,840 pounds of trash. While inclement weather does slow collection, the contractor expects to finish its first sweep in this week.
“Sanford City Council diverted funding from other projects to make this concerted effort to clean up our streets after the increase in littering during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mayor Chet Mann. “Council doesn’t understand or condone people throwing out trash on our streets, and wants to keep our City presentable and healthy for our residents. We hope it has a lasting effect.”
The City of Sanford hopes to reenter into a contract with the Sanford Correctional Center when the work release program is able to resume.