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"I've found things I wouldn't want to mention, but we've found refrigerators, air conditioners, furniture, dressers," Allred said. "People dump all kinds of stuff on the side of the road. Clearly some of it has been there for a long time. Other stuff might have just been dumped."
In 2008, 5,367 were charged with littering, with 2,792 convictions, state records show. The year before, 6,153 littering charges were filed, with 3,259 convictions.
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Asheville area groups swat litterbugs
There are several categories of litter, including people who intentionally dump trash, like a smoker tossing Pink Human Race Nmd
Allred is part of a group that picks up litter the first Saturday of each month along the East Asheville road. The group is made of parents, staff and sometimes students at ArtSpace Charter School in Swannanoa, where Allred is a board member. The school has adopted a roughly 3 mile stretch of Azalea Road and is responsible for picking up litter from the soccer fields to Tunnel Road.
The program is totally anonymous and no record is kept regarding who submits or receives a letter, Kapetanakis said.
Robin Allred never knows what she might find along Azalea Road.
"Whether it's a cigarette butt or something accidentally falling out of their vehicle, whatever it may be, we're asking them not to do it," Kapetanakis said. "Taxpayers have to foot the bill to have it cleaned up.".
"It's a lot better than it used to be," she said. "When I moved here in 1975, there were whole cars in the Swannanoa River. People would push their dead cars in the river and all you would see is the back of the car sticking up, or the hood.
a cigarette butt out of a car window, and those who accidentally litter, such as a tissue falling out of a pocket, Roderick said. Trash can also fly out Adidas High Tops Customize of garbage trucks rolling down the highway.
Tougher enforcementRoderick said she would like to see more enforcement of litter laws to help curb the problem. Of those charges, 2,208 resulted in convictions.
"We think that there is a difference now," Roderick said. "There are a lot more people Adidas High Tops Boots
It's also one of many volunteer groups that help keep North Carolina's highways, roads and streets clean.
Asheville Greenworks works with the city on its Adopt a Street program, helping supply groups like the ArtSpace Charter School volunteers with bags, gloves and other tools needed to pick up trash.
The fine for intentional littering is $250 plus court costs, and $50 plus costs for unintentional littering.
"If we weren't out there picking it up all the time, I think we would be buried in it," said Susan Roderick, executive director of Asheville Greenworks, the local affiliate group of Keep America Beautiful.
On the prevention side, less than half of those charged with littering last year received convictions, leading some to call for tougher enforcement. Department of Transportation spent slightly more than $19 million removing 446,964 bags of litter from roads, according to a litter report from the Roadside Environmental Unit. That equals more than 8.7 million pounds of garbage.
State budget cuts, however, limited the number of temporary employees used by DOT to collect litter, including prison inmates, according to the report. In 2008, slightly more than 14.8 million pounds of litter was removed from the state's roadsides. In 2007, the total exceeded 10 million pounds.
Buncombe County by far had the most littering charges filed in Western North Carolina last year, with 119. Of those, 60 resulted in convictions, records show. In 2008, 119 people were charged with littering, with 62 convictions.
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