Snohomish County’s Litter Wranglers returning to county roads for 2021 season  

Photo courtesy Snohomish County

Snohomish County’s Litter Wranglers crew will returns to county roads this April to rustle up the rubbish for the first time since fall of 2019. The Litter Wranglers collected 10,554 bags of litter and cleaning more than 1,052 miles of Snohomish County roads during the program’s first two years in 2018 and 2019.

“COVID-19 forced Litter Wranglers to hang up their hats last year, and the fact they will be back on the roads rounding up litter this month should give us all a sense of pride,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “This innovative and successful program was created in response to our residents’ concerns about litter. The crew will travel hundreds of miles of county roads this year and help us preserve Snohomish County’s natural beauty and keep our waterways cleaner.”

Resident participation is a driving force of the past and future success of the program. Calls and emails from the public alerting county staff of where excessive litter sites are located, essentially crowdsourcing the problem locations, makes the efficient collection of the garbage possible.

“We want to grow and encourage that partnership. During 2019, the crew was able to clean up a total of 800 road miles thanks to the public involvement and careful planning,” Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said. “The ability to map out locations is crucial to the program’s effectiveness and efficiency.”

Residents are asked to abide by current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines of six feet and to wear a mask while near the Litter Wranglers this season. New protocols have been established and are being followed by the crew due to the ongoing health crisis.

Snohomish County residents can participate in the program by continuing to report areas with excessive litter.

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The Litter Wranglers also help the county’s road maintenance staff as they get out and clean up a site before road crews arrive. This helps to make everything run smoother and saves time and money for Public Works projects.

The county-employed five-member crew is trained on how to safely deal with litter and the current health crisis while working along the side of the road next to traffic. Residents may see the Litter Wranglers between 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday throughThursday throughout the county. County officials remind drivers to be aware and cautious while driving through construction and road maintenance zones this summer.

 

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