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RESIDENTS SAY IT’S TIME TO CLEAN UP THE TRASH

2/1/2017, 4:27 p.m. | Updated on 2/1/2017, 4:27 p.m.
Chicago Community Police Officer Clayton Hutchinson and members of the 3rd District held their annually CAPS meeting Jan. 24, 2017 ...
Pictured is Park Manor Christian Church located on 600 E. 73rd St. Recently, community leaders and officers of the 3rd District held a CAPS meeting to discuss the on-going issues of trash in Chicago neighborhoods. Photo by: Christopher Shuttlesworth

RESIDENTS SAY IT’S TIME TO CLEAN UP THE TRASH

by Christopher Shuttlesworth

Chicago Community Police Officer Clayton Hutchinson and

members of the 3rd District held their annually CAPS meeting Jan. 24, 2017 at Park Manor Christian Church, located on 600 E. 73rd St., to combat and resolve problems in the neighborhood.

During the CAPS meeting, concerned elderly residents

complained how citizens who live on 69th Street between Eberhart and Vernon Avenue, are constantly putting trash in alleys, making it difficult for the elderly to either walk or drive through the alleys.

Littering has become a serious problem in Chicago costing millions of dollars in cleanup. Categories of litter include paper plates, cups, beer, soft drinks and juice cans; tobacco and confection wrappers such as cigarette packages, candy and ice cream wrappers; food wastes such as fruit or vegetable peelings, leftovers or other table waste; newspapers, books, handbills and other rubbish.

Although thousands of volunteers contribute to clean

up the garbage in communities during the spring and fall, it’s still not enough.

“I know in the winter time garbage builds up around curve lines, but [some police] still [clean them up],” Hutchinson said. “I just don’t [clean the curve] in front of my house.

I get my son and we clean up [multiple] blocks. It does make a difference [to clean] the streets in the [3rd District] neighborhoods because block programs and [local] shops look for people to do this.”

Individuals who throw waste onto the streets while walking, jogging, biking or driving could be fined or ticketed from $50 up to $1,500. The littering law introduced first by Aldermen Howard Brookins (21st) increases the minimum and maximum fines for each occurrence, from a range from $50 to $200, to $150 to $1,500 for each offense.

For persons aged 16 and above who commit this offense in a moving or stationary vehicle, Chicago Police are directed to impose a $1,500 fine as well as impound the vehicle, creating a powerful deterrent and potentially improving the look of neighborhoods across the City.

Hutchinson said police officers can hand out these citations to help minimize the number of people who litter on the streets, but strongly encouraged residents of these neighborhoods to come up with creative ideas to persuade

citizens to pick up their trash and put it in the garbage cans.

“If it’s a lot of trash on the ground [already] it’s easier for

me to throw it down, but if it’s clean, I may hold it until I see a garbage can,” Hutchinson said.

“Community [leaders] should create [friendly] signs [near

71st] that say ‘Make sure you put your trash in the can.’ It seems simple, but it works.”

City officials advise residents to call 311 to report sanitation violations.