- City officials in Trenton, NJ have begun focusing on quality of life issues such as litter in streets and alleys and debris in overgrown yards as part of a beautification initiative, as reported by NJ.com.
- In one neighborhood, the Villa Park Civic Association plans to go door-to-door and give certificates to those who maintain their properties and warnings to those who don't. Officials plan to issue summonses and violations to residents who don't comply.
- One council member also proposed the idea of sending out collection trucks on special weekend routes to pick up mattresses, tires and overflowing trash cans.
In addition to being unsightly, officials also say such conditions can pose a public health risk. One council member, whose block has been experiencing issues with mice lately due to these conditions, vowed to crack down at a recent press conference.
"We have an overwhelming citywide problem with garbage, property management and enforcement and it has to be addressed now," said Council Member Phyllis Holly-Ward, as reported by NJ.com. "This issue is spreading like a plague and we have to shut it down like the disease that it is."
Maintaining properties and public spaces is an important function of general sanitation that is often overlooked. Earlier this year, Keep America Beautiful raised awareness with its Great American Cleanup centered around public spaces and blocks across the country. This summer a council member in Cincinnati also tried to raise awareness through his "One Bag of Trash" challenge asking residents to pick up litter in their neighborhoods.