Clean Sweep Program

State: AL Type: Model Practice Year: 2011

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The Clean Sweep Program is a collaboration between the Jefferson County Department of Health, Jefferson County Office of Land Development, the Jefferson County Roads and Transportation Division and the Jefferson County Circuit Courts. This program seeks to eliminate roadside litter on Jefferson County roadways by assigning probationers linear areas of roadway to keep clean as terms of their probation. The program seeks to remove roadway litter which is not only unsightly,insanitary,and adversely affects water quality, but is an overall deterrent to a healthy community.

This program seeks to target areas of roadway that are constantly littered and due to limited resources are rarely picked up by road maintenance crews. Court appointed probationers are assigned sections of roadway as terms of their probation. They are to keep the sections clean during their probationary period. One of the best outcomes of the program is that the labor costs for pick-up are almost negligible due to the use of probationers who do not have to be supervised during the clean-ups. They report to Code Enforcement Officers for the Land Division Office when they have picked up their road section. The Code Officers in turn report to the County Roads and Transportation Division that bags are ready for pick-up. Roads and Transportation collect them and take then to a local landfill. Code Enforcement Officers in the Land Division also report to the court if roadways are properly maintained. Non-compliant probationers are reported to the court and the judge administers jail time or a warning notice.

Goals and Objectives Goal: To eliminate roadside litter in Jefferson County by providing low cost labor to keep assigned areas of roadway clean on an ongoing basis. Implementation: The Community Assessment Division of JCDH contacted Code Enforcement Officials in The Jefferson County Office of Land Development to research the possibility of utilizing an innovative practice to address the problem of roadside litter. Litter was determined to be a problem within the County as evidenced by comments from focus groups utilized in implementing the Mobilizing for Action through Partnership and Planning (MAPP) process.

This community assessment tool regarding community health was completed in 2005 and was recorded in the publication- Our County Roadmap to Health. After determining that litter was a concern of many residents who saw this as an environmental health concern, JCDH sought to analyze the sources of litter and ways to effectively prevent and remove it from roadways. In 2006, the Community Assessment Division of JCDH Environmental Health Services completed and reported on roadway litter in Jefferson County (Jefferson County 2006 Litter Survey). The survey found an average of 117 pounds of litter per mile on the roadways in Jefferson County. Using this information, the two agencies were able to approach area judges to propose the option of assigning specific sections of roadway for litter pick up as terms of probation for non-violent offenders. Implementation Date- March, 2009 Outcomes of Practice- The objectives of the program have successfully been met. The assigned roadways have been maintained free of litter for the last 19 months. Factors that led to the success of the program have been cooperation between the four departments involved. JCDH provided information regarding the program and support, the Land Development Office supplied the basic logistics and personnel for implementation as well as record retention and court notification, the Roads and Transportation Division provided transport of bags after pick-up, and the courts provided assigned probationers.

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Jefferson County Department of Health/Alabama Public Health Area 4
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Clean Sweep Program
The Clean Sweep Program is a collaboration between the Jefferson County Department of Health, Jefferson County Office of Land Development, the Jefferson County Roads and Transportation Division and the Jefferson County Circuit Courts. This program seeks to eliminate roadside litter on Jefferson County roadways by assigning probationers linear areas of roadway to keep clean as terms of their probation. The program seeks to remove roadway litter which is not only unsightly,insanitary,and adversely affects water quality, but is an overall deterrent to a healthy community. This program seeks to target areas of roadway that are constantly littered and due to limited resources are rarely picked up by road maintenance crews. Court appointed probationers are assigned sections of roadway as terms of their probation. They are to keep the sections clean during their probationary period. One of the best outcomes of the program is that the labor costs for pick-up are almost negligible due to the use of probationers who do not have to be supervised during the clean-ups. They report to Code Enforcement Officers for the Land Division Office when they have picked up their road section. The Code Officers in turn report to the County Roads and Transportation Division that bags are ready for pick-up. Roads and Transportation collect them and take then to a local landfill. Code Enforcement Officers in the Land Division also report to the court if roadways are properly maintained. Non-compliant probationers are reported to the court and the judge administers jail time or a warning notice. Goals and Objectives Goal: To eliminate roadside litter in Jefferson County by providing low cost labor to keep assigned areas of roadway clean on an ongoing basis. Implementation: The Community Assessment Division of JCDH contacted Code Enforcement Officials in The Jefferson County Office of Land Development to research the possibility of utilizing an innovative practice to address the problem of roadside litter. Litter was determined to be a problem within the County as evidenced by comments from focus groups utilized in implementing the Mobilizing for Action through Partnership and Planning (MAPP) process. This community assessment tool regarding community health was completed in 2005 and was recorded in the publication- Our County Roadmap to Health. After determining that litter was a concern of many residents who saw this as an environmental health concern, JCDH sought to analyze the sources of litter and ways to effectively prevent and remove it from roadways. In 2006, the Community Assessment Division of JCDH Environmental Health Services completed and reported on roadway litter in Jefferson County (Jefferson County 2006 Litter Survey). The survey found an average of 117 pounds of litter per mile on the roadways in Jefferson County. Using this information, the two agencies were able to approach area judges to propose the option of assigning specific sections of roadway for litter pick up as terms of probation for non-violent offenders. Implementation Date- March, 2009 Outcomes of Practice- The objectives of the program have successfully been met. The assigned roadways have been maintained free of litter for the last 19 months. Factors that led to the success of the program have been cooperation between the four departments involved. JCDH provided information regarding the program and support, the Land Development Office supplied the basic logistics and personnel for implementation as well as record retention and court notification, the Roads and Transportation Division provided transport of bags after pick-up, and the courts provided assigned probationers.
Healthy communities. Communities where the outdoor environment is conducive to physical activity are much more likely to have residents outside engaging in walking, biking, running, etc.. Places where litter and insanitary conditions exist are much less likely to be utilized for outdoor activities. Also, littered roadways usually lead to polluted streams as items are washed into waterways after heavy rains.
Agency Community RolesLitter is an issue that has been voiced as a community problem by many diverse sectors of the community. Business leaders, environmental groups, civic leaders, law enforcement officials and the general population has weighed in on the issue. But, it usually takes a back seat to other social and environmental issues. JCDH was the caltalyst to push the issue and bring the right agencies together to utilize a sustainable method to address the problem effectively. Through the Health Action Process, JCDH ws able to leverage participation by numersous stakeholders and form a committee to address litter as an issue. JCDH conducted the initial research on the program by attending presentations on the program and by conducting literature searches regarding it. The Community Assessment Division of JCDH developed a flow chart for implementation of the program in Jefferson County and presented it to the other agencies that would be involved as well as other agencies that would be supportive of the program. JCDH developed presentation materials and made contact with the court system to present the program to circuit court judges within Jefferson County. JCDH also continues to support the program through presentations as well as providing in kind services. When the Roads and Transportation Division of the County Commission was not able to collect litter bags, JCDH Environmentalists picked up bags from completed routes and took them to local landfills. This was the case when due to budget constraints, Jefferson County furloughed many employess including those in the Roads and Transportation Department.   ImplementationThe Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) utilized the Mobilizing for Action through Partnership and Planning (MAPP) process to determine environmental concerns within Jefferson County. One that was identified through this process was roadside litter. JCDH also worked with a department of the Jefferson County Commission to determine quantitatively the amount and type of litter on county roadways. Environmentalists in the Community Assessment Division of Environmental Health Services at JCDH conducted extensive research regarding litter prevention programs and litter education programs throughout the Southeast including Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, as well as other areas of the country. Using this information, potential partners were identified to see if a collaborative approach could be used to decrease roadside litter. The Community Assessment Division of JCDH developed a flow chart for implementation of the program in Jefferson County and presented it to the other agencies that would be involved as well as other agencies that would be supportive of the program. JCDH developed presentation materials and made contact with the court system to present the program to circuit court judges within Jefferson County. The collaborative partners of the program agreed on each of their roles in the process and have continued to fulfill those roles. Basically, the court systems through local judges assign individuals to the program as terms of their probation. Individuals are given the contact information of code enforcement officers in the County Land Development Office and told to contact this office for their assignment and logistic information. The code enforcer routinely checks the area assigned for compliance and periodically reports back to the court its findings. The assigned probationer notifies the Land Development Office when litter is available for pick up and the County Roads and Transportation Division picks up the bags of litter and transports to local landfills. During 2005 the initial MAPP process was conducted. Results were evaluated and published in the publication Our Community Roadmap to Health, Written by the Citizens of Jefferson County, Alabama. In the spring and summer of 2006 a quantitative litter survey was conducted and a report printed- The Jefferson County 2006 Litter Survey Report. In 2007 research was conducted to develop a sustainable program for litter control. Information regarding the Assign-A-Highway program was evaluated to see if collaboration could be leveraged among identified partners within the within the local court system and the Jefferson County Land Planning and Development Office. In 2008-2009 the Jefferson County Department of Health worked with the Jefferson County Land Planning and Development Office to leverage support with judges within the court system and with other agencies that may be supportive of the program. In March 2009 the program was implemented and titled the Clean Sweep Program.
Performance measures: The assigned roadways have been maintained free of litter for the last 19 months through the program. From an initial assignment of 5 probationers, the program has grown to include approximately 192 probationers thus far, each assigned to approximately one mile of roadway. The average length of probation is twelve months. This means 192 miles of roadway have been kept clean. To date approximately 1200 bags of litter have been collected amounting to 36,999 pounds of litter. Data collection- Litter surveyed-Jefferson Department of Health Number of probationers on program-Jefferson County Office of Land Development Miles of roadway assigned- Jefferson County Office of Land Development Number of bags removed each visit- Jefferson County Roads and Transportation Division Evaluation results: Jefferson County Department of Health learned that in order to implement innovative programs perseverance is a key component. In order to find venues for presentation of the program, JCDH had to maintain continual contact with the people and agencies involved in the program in order to keep it constantly before them. JCDH also had to connect with agencies outside the public health network, e.g resource and conservation agencies. JCDH used collected data to make a case for the program and found if the data is not available you may have to gather it yourself. Clean Sweep has been successful to all the agencies involved as well as the citizens of Jefferson County. Feedback: Data has been disseminated to Jefferson County Commissioners. Also, to agencies within an existing Health Action Coalition. The Clean Sweep Program has been a win-win for both the citizens of Jefferson County as well as probationers. Officials in the Land Development Office have reported that probationers have requested to be assigned to the program.
JCDH continues to convene an Environmental Quality Committee consisting of members from local government agencies, private companies, and local non-profit agencies to address county-wide environmental issues. Officials from the Jefferson County Office of Land Development Department serve on the committee and are called to report on the program at every meeting. The Clean Sweep Program is promoted by this group and JCDH members have been called upon to present to Jefferson County Commissioners and local agencies regarding its operation and success. With the logistics process in place and the success of the program, it has a good chance of continuing. Also, the cost of operating it is very low since existing personnel and programs are used to conduct the program
 
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