Inmates collect trash on the tracks

Inmates collect trash along the tracks

BRISTOL, Va. - It's a story we first reported on two weeks ago, involving piles of trash dumped along side Bristol, Virginia railroad tracks.

Mayor Jim Steele first saw the problem during a passenger train ride and knew something had to be done. We tagged along with crews as they helped solve this problem.

This wasn't your every day spring cleaning, inmates from the Bristol Virginia jail were picking up old boots, a water hose, even a broken TV. Litter that's been piling up and down property next to railroad tracks.

It's a problem Mayor Steele is tackling after a train tour gave passengers a glimpse at our garbage, "The next time a train comes through here the people won't see all this trash."

But Mayor Steele adds this hard work is valuable in generating tourism dollars, "You're talking about 500 to 1,000 people that could be dropped off down here that could come into your city."

There's the hope that cleaning up the trash will catch steam, that's why city leaders are sending letters from Bristol to Radford encouraging others to join in the clean up.

We learned signs will soon be posted warning people about illegal dumping and you'll want to think twice before tossing your trash in the wrong place.

"By city code it's a class two misdemeanor which could be a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine," added Ron Philbrick with Code Enforcement.

While cleaning is a work in progress, residents say this is a step in the right direction to show Bristol's treasures not our trash. "Makes me feel better to know that somebody else cares other than us the people that are in the area," said resident Maxine Whitaker.

When it comes to where crews can clean, homeowners must give their permission before allowing trash on property near the tracks to be picked up.

One final fact, all the stuff picked up will be taken to the city landfill.

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