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Fri, Oct. 18

Litterbug infestation on Glassford Hill Road
Town relies on Adopt-a-Street program as solution

Prescott Valley residents have been complaining about the trash that accumulates near Glassford Hill Road.
Photo by Jason Wheeler.

Prescott Valley residents have been complaining about the trash that accumulates near Glassford Hill Road.

Drive down Glassford Hill Road any given day and chances are, you’ll see quite a bit of trash along the side of the road and behind the fenced-in area. In fact, it’s caused some Prescott Valley residents to speak out.

Driving home to Viewpoint in the right hand lane, Irene Reed said she can take a quick look and see quite a bit of trash. It looks to be coming from the area next to the Maverik gas station and behind Walmart, hitting the open field and going north on the east side of Glassford Hill Road, Reed said, stating that she started noticing it in early April and that it hasn’t gotten any better.

“It goes in cycles, you think it’s beginning to look like the stuff is blowing all over … it’s this huge amount of trash,” Reed said. “The worst of it is starting right behind Maverik and Walmart. We were down Lakeshore, we were on Windsong and from Windsong, we went to Spouse. There’s a little bit, you expect a bag or two, but it’s nothing like on that main artery.”

Another concerned resident wrote an email about the trash seen on Highway 69 during Memorial Day weekend, calling attention to a queen-sized mattress that stayed in the area for two weeks along with some full trash bags thrown in a ditch, a sofa cushion, a 10-gallon bucket, a knocked down street sign and “something that looked like an RV bumper.”

The resident, who didn’t give their name, stated that Prescott Valley is growing leaps and bounds but is beginning to think that the government can’t handle the growth.

“I can only imagine what all of these visitors thought while driving by, on their way to visit Prescott. If it were me, I would have kept going, thinking that it was an oppressed area!” the writer stated.

Reed said she wanted to know where the trash was coming from and who is responsible for cleaning it up both on the public right-of-way and behind the fenced-in area.

When it comes to the trash along Glassford Hill Road, it’s the town’s most-heavily traveled roadway, said Public Works Director Norm Davis. It’s doubtful much of the trash is from commercial businesses and most of it is probably blown out of vehicles, he said.

One solution that the town does have is the Adopt-a-Street Program, Davis said. Currently, the Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center has taken Glassford Hill Road from Highway 69 to Long Look Drive and the Knights of Columbus #8386 have taken Glassford Hill Road from Highway 89A to the Santa Fe Loop. Those groups come in and out and there hasn’t been an anchor tenant for a number of years, he said

As for the trash behind the fenced-in area, that’s an issue that has come up before, Davis said. The area is open range owned by the Fain Land & Cattle Company. They’d most likely say the cows don’t generate the plastic bags and soda cups that get on the range, that it’s someone else’s job and it’s not the cowboys’ responsibility to pick up litter from people that are responsible, Davis said.

The Fain family could not be reached for comment.

“What code enforcement do you have on open range? You’d effectively have your code enforcement on the areas that generate it,” Davis said. “The code enforcements do have capabilities and ordinances in place, they can talk about windblown litter … Part of it is just being good stewards of the environment.”

Responsibility should be taken as it’s all part of being a community, Reed said, adding that she’s open to cleaning but would need a dumpster and that she can’t get out as a single person as it would probably take two rolls of trash bags to clean the area.

“It’s shameful for this town who wants to put up a $90,000 piece of art when it’s full of trash. What they ought to do is erect a big bunch of trash cans standing up and pointing ‘who’s responsible for this crap.’ I’m sick of it,” Reed said. “The council, our mayor, the town itself are all letting the community down by allowing this and I don’t like it.”

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