Greg Reed

PRINCETON — Born and raised in Mercer County, Litter Control Officer Greg Reed loves to see the community keep his hometown clean.

Reed was sworn in to office as litter control officer with the Mercer County Solid Waste Authority on March 25 of last year. Previously, he worked for 18 years as a West Virginia State Trooper.

Part of his duties include enforcing the state code pertaining to littering and trash. He writes citations for violations including littering, creating an open dump and not having a garbage disposal service.

He also receives phone calls from concerned citizens about certain areas in the county with an excessive litter problem. Reed said when he responds to a complaint he will give the property owner the benefit of the doubt and a chance to remove litter from the area. If the owner fails to comply, then he may issue a citation.

Recently, Reed has been working with the Mercer County Commission on the Love Where You Live-Keep Mercer Clean campaign. He and others at the Mercer County Solid Waste Authority spent two days this week conducting a “litter getter” sweep, informing people in the community about the campaign, updating them on various laws and making people aware of the free days slated at the county landfill. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Natural Resources and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department also worked with the Solid Waste Authority to spread the word.

Free days at the landfill will take place every Wednesday in April from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Anyone in Mercer County can visit the landfill to drop off general household items. The landfill will not take chemicals, tires, paint or pesticides.

Free tire disposal will be available through April for the following dates and locations: April 6-10 at Bluefield Parks and Recreation; April 13-17 at the City of Princeton Maintenance Garage; April 20-24 at the City of Oakvale City Hall; and April 27-May 1 at L&M Market in Lashmeet. All locations will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dump sites will also be available for general household litter every Saturday in April. Those sites will include PikeView High School and Lashmeet/Matoaka School April 4 and 11; and Oakvale High School and the Brushfork Armory April 18 and 25. Those sites will be open from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

The campaign began March 20 and will run until April 30, but Reed said he hopes the efforts to keep the county clean will continue. He hopes to see an overall cleaner county and see people take more pride in the community.

“I can already see a difference at this point,” he said.

One of Reed’s favorite parts about his job is seeing an area cleaned of litter. He added trash is an embarrassment to the county and he is glad to see the commissioners are on board with keeping Mercer clean.

“[The campaign] has been positive up to this point,” he said. “It’s important to have community involvement and volunteers.”

In the future, Reed said the would like to see a litter pickup crew in Mercer County.

To contact Reed regarding litter issues in the county, call 304-320-0036.

— Contact Jackie Puglisi at jpuglisi@ptonline.net