Everyone enjoys the beauty of the Snohomish County outdoors. From the white-capped mountains to the evergreen trees and glistening waters of Puget Sound, the great outdoors call to many. One group heeding the call is the Snohomish County Litter Wranglers, which will return for a sixth season this month to help rustle up the trash and maintain the county’s natural beauty alongside county roads.
“Our Litter Wranglers are deployed to any litter problem on county roadways,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “This innovative program is an example of how creative problem solving can fix some of our most pressing needs. These teams have performed beyond our expectations over the years and are instrumental in maintaining Snohomish County’s extraordinary natural resources.”
The Litter Wranglers are comprised of seasonal county employees and during the course of the program’s six years the crews have collected 24,700 bags of trash from county roadways and right of ways. “We are very proud of this program and our employees who work hard to keep our county looking great,” Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said. “We are impressed every year by what this program can accomplish with help from the public.”
The partnership between the Litter Wranglers and residents helps to guide the program. Calls and emails from the public reporting litter sites from around the county contribute to the Litter Wranglers’ success. The information is then compiled, and sites are grouped together to collect the bagged litter as efficiently as possible. The system maximizes the crew’s work on the road to get the most out of their time.
The crew has been able to get a site cleaned within a week of the report from the public. Snohomish County residents can participate in the program by continuing to report areas along county roads with excessive litter. The program is also used to get work sites clean before Public Works’ maintenance crews arrive for projects. This allows them to stay focused on road maintenance tasks and be more efficient which saves taxpayer funds. The crew is trained on how to safely deal with litter while working along the side of the road next to traffic. Residents may see the Litter Wranglers between 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday throughout Snohomish County. Motorist should be aware and cautious while driving through construction and road maintenance zones this summer to keep all roadside workers safe.
Residents can also participate in picking up litter by joining the county’s Adopt-A-Road program, which is a partnership between volunteers and Snohomish County Public Works to keep roadsides free of litter. To sign-up, for the program call the program coordinator at 425-388-3137. And of course, the best way to stop litter is to make sure to put trash in a garbage can before it becomes a problem. You can also report a litter location by emailing [email protected] or calling 425-388-7500.