Sheriff's deputies pick up litter on Robeson County roadways

Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins joins deputies and volunteers to show off their new Adopt-A-Highway sign on Sanchez Drive near the Sheriff's Department offices. (Matt Parris/WPDE)

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WPDE) - They're usually seen serving and protecting, patrolling roads and keeping drivers safe. But this morning the Robeson County Sheriff and his deputies were helping to clean the streets in the literal sense, and said it's something they hope helps deter more violent crimes in the area.

Saturday morning, Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins joined around 20 of his deputies and other volunteers to pick up litter that dots the sides of the roadways. Wilkins and his deputies said it can be an eyesore.

"You ride the roads here everyday," said Lt. Deryl Little, with the Sheriff's Office. "When you get out here and start picking up trash, it gives you a better perspective for just how much litter there really is located on the side of the road."

Little was asked if he found anything strange or noteworthy on his long walk up and down the road today.

"It's amazing," the deputy said. "How much stuff you'll find here, pieces of furniture, bottles."

Lt. Little also said he was finding large campaign signs from November races among the other garbage. Campaigns are supposed to be responsible for collecting every sign they distribute after the election is completed

. Instead of guns and handcuffs , rakes and sticks were the officers' weapons of choice to grab the trash through the sometimes hilly terrain. Also on hand were plastic bags, meant to carry truckloads of evidence of a job well done by deputies.

*Littering is a real problem," Lt. Little said.

"We're trying to clean it up," added Robeson County District 7 Commission Tom Taylor. Taylor said a new program that started this year aims to keep Robeson County "Clean and Green" this year.

"We're just tired of looking at all the trash on the road and wish that people would quit throwing their trash out," Taylor said.

The brand new Adopt-a-Highway signs on Sanchez Drive in Lumberton near the Sheriff's Office are just another example of the new wave of programs beginning under the new Wilkins administration.

"Help keep our county clean," asked Commissioner Taylor. "We just need some help."

Working together, one step at a time. Cleaning crime and litter off of the streets of Robeson County.

"Help keep our county clean. We just need some help."

Sheriff Wilkins said his office hopes to make cleanup efforts like those Saturday a monthly event. You are encouraged to reach out to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office for more information on how to get involved.

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