Vandals trash civic group#8217;s project

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2005

Why would somebody cut into dozens of trash bags and scatter their contents all over the road? That’s a question members of one area civic club are asking after their hard work to collect litter was nearly negated by vandals earlier this week.

Nearly two dozen volunteers from the Possum Hollow Ruritan Club spent hours Saturday morning picking up 40 bags of trash from the ditch banks of rural Chuckatuck Road. As part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a Highway program, the club cleans up debris twice a year on Cherry Grove and Riddick roads.

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Club members stuffed all sorts of trash n water bottles, soft drink cups, old newspapers and hundreds of miniature alcohol bottles n into VDOT’s trademark orange garbage bags, said Ruritan Dot Dalton. Club members left the bags on the sides of the road for VDOT to pick up this week.

VDOT workers arrived to pick up the packed garbage bags on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, someone was there before them sometime Tuesday, slashing open every garbage bag and strewing the trash alongside the road, Dalton said. The culprits even took time to crush glass bottles in the roadway.

“When we saw the first bag, we thought maybe it was an accident or that an animal had gotten into it,” Dalton said. “We realized it was deliberate as we went further down the road and saw all the trash.

“It was a mess all over the place. It’s frustrating … especially since we did this as a community service. It’s pretty bad that somebody had nothing better to do than this.”

VDOT employees spent Wednesday morning collecting the trash from the road, said Luefras Robinson, a VDOT spokeswoman.

There have been few n if any n similar situations in other areas participating in the Adopt-a-Highway program, she said.

“This isn’t a recurring problem,” she said. “We think this was an isolated prank.”

Residents have called the Suffolk Police Department and Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Department and requested extra patrols through the neighborhood, Dalton said.