Wednesday, 30 June 2021 17:02

Trash left after party at Richmond County park

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Richmond County posted this photo Wednesday of trash at Castlewood Park Richmond County posted this photo Wednesday of trash at Castlewood Park Richmond County

ROCKINGHAM — County crews had a mess to clean up at a local park following an apparent birthday party.

On Wednesday, a photo was posted to the Richmond County government’s Facebook page, appearing to show candy, wrappers and other trash underneath a busted pinata at Castlewood Park on Ledbetter Road.

The post reads: 

“We love that you use our facilities. We are happy to provide a place for you to gather with friends and spend time together. We ask that you please be mindful of the people who want to enjoy this space after you, and the wildlife that lives around the park. Please clean up after yourselves when you leave.”

That post was shared more than 240 times by 4:10 p.m. Many commenters were appalled by the lack of respect.

Some suggested heightened security to find out who’s responsible.

One individual even suggested getting rid of the trash cans to decrease littering, saying, “Removing trashcans from public use facilities has proven time and time again to have less trash lying around.”

However, study from the city of Philadelphia reported in 2018 that “when trash receptacles decreased, trash collected as litter increased and staff time spent on collecting litter also increased.”

Assistant Public Works Director Bryan Leggett said the county’s building maintenance workers care for the county-owned facilities at Castlewood and East Rockingham Park.

“(T)his is a common occurrence,” he said. “After parties there are usually pizza boxes, plates, streamers and any other party supplies brought.”

Leggett said the county asks that “anyone using these facilities please clean up after themselves.  

“We strive to keep things clean for the public and we would like for the public to return the favor,” Leggett said.

In April of 2019, Kelly Chandler and her daughter cleaned up around the picnic areas at the Hitchcock Creek Greenway in Rockingham. Most of what was collected was plastic candy and straw wrappers and Easter grass, presumably from an egg hunt previous weekend.

It’s not just trash being found at public parks.

In February, Richard “Ozzy” Graham, a Richmond County native who lives in Scotland County, went live on Facebook after reportedly finding a discarded needle by a water fountain at East Rockingham Park.

“This is where our ffff, this is where our effing kids play,” Graham said in the video, trying to censor himself. “And you junkies can’t just … go somewhere else and do your sh-t. Stop doing it at parks. Kids come out here and play … this is ridiculous.”

The following day, Graham posted a photo of a broken glass smoking pipe he says he found near the old building at the Hitchcock Creek.

The county has been fighting what County Manager Bryan Land calls a littering “epidemic” for years.

Last month, more than 3.5 tons of garbage were collected from Richmond County roadsides, according to the solid waste report — including 69 bags on Wiregrass Road alone. County records show more than 56,000 pounds (28 tons) have been picked up since Jan. 1.

In between the April and May reports, volunteers from across the county picked up 3.2 tons of trash from some of the same roads frequently cleaned by the county and state.

NCDOT reported earlier this month that more than 7 million pounds of roadside litter had been collected statewide in less than six months, inching closer to the 2019 total of 10.5 million pounds.


Last modified on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 17:11