Augusta County litter control program receives Virginia Association of Counties award
The Virginia Association of Counties has recognized the Augusta County Pre-Charge Diversion and Litter Control Program with a 2020 Achievement Award, a distinction honoring excellence in local government programs. The winning entries this year focused on addressing issues of inclusion, belonging, and reconciliation.
The Litter Control Program, which started in March 2018, is a unique, first-in-the-state solution operating from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. It offers first time offenders of non-violent criminal offenses the opportunity to volunteer for a specified number of hours. Participants receive an alternative to criminal charges while allowing them a chance to correct their mistake by performing a greatly needed community service. The program saves time and money for law enforcement and the courts and represents significant cost savings and benefits for citizens by:
- cleaning up the county,
- increasing awareness and public engagement with the ongoing litter issue,
- providing the opportunity for offenders to give back to the community.
“This program is a result of close collaboration between departments across government,” said Caleb Kramer, assistant Commonwealth’s attorney and director of the Litter Control Program. “From community development to law enforcement to the court system, the program helps solve issues on multiple levels that ultimately benefit our citizens.”
In 2019, the program removed over 36,841 pounds of trash and 410 tires from nearly 200 miles of roadway. Forty-one pre-charge participants completed over 3,400 hours of work.
Community members can report trash that needs to be picked up at www.AugustaCountyVA.gov/ReportLitter.
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