Picking Up Litter: Pride in Community

FULTON, NY – As the recent warm weather has concluded the long winter season, melted snow has resulted in littered streets and yards, Fulton city officials said.

Sam Vono, Fourth Ward representative on the Fulton Common Council, has led his ward by example in an effort to combat the litter plaguing community neighborhoods.

“One of my pet peeves has always been litter. I’m so opposed to people just driving and throwing litter out the window. I’d like to raise awareness in the city to try to get people on board, everybody, all of our residents, to just take some pride in our community. If you see it, pick it up,” he said.

The best way to raise awareness, he said, is to be an example. Each day, as he walks his dog through neighborhoods in the fourth ward, he picks up trash from streets, sidewalks, and lawns.

And each day when he returns home from his walk, he questions, “why aren’t people doing this in their own yards?”

Simply put, each city resident can take responsibility just for maintaining the cleanliness of their own property to begin the battle against litter.

“I don’t want to put any undue pressure on people,” he continued, “but I think it’s something that needs to be said.”

The momentum of the city is moving forward with the help of several groups and volunteer organizations including the Parks and Recreation department, Friends of Fulton Parks, and Fulton Block Builders, all of whom aim to make Fulton a beautiful, prideful city, Vono said.

“A lot of people are stepping up in our city. I’d like to see the residents also pick up on that,” he pleaded.

According to city code, those caught dispersing litter on city streets or sidewalks face “a violation … punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250 and/or imprisonment of not more than 15 days.

Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said that awareness of littering begins with the younger generations.

Each year, Mayor Woodward speaks to students at Fairgrieve Elementary school’s Morning Express program to teach them about being good citizens of their city, including an emphasis on littering and the harm it does to the community.

Several opportunities arise for residents of all ages to volunteer their time to combat litter throughout the city.

Recently, as part of Earth Day’s monthly celebrations in April, a group of local volunteers under the leadership of the Friends of Fulton Parks met to remove litter and beautify the area along the Oswego River and Veterans Park in Fulton’s downtown.

The Oswego County Green Team maintains a commitment year round to keep the county clean, healthy, and beautiful. They, too, joined together as a group to pick up litter around Bullhead Point and Lake Neatahwanta.

Students from Lanigan Elementary School worked together to clean Recreation Park and will move on to Patrick Park later this week.

The battle against litter is happening all around, will you join?

*If at any time you discover hazardous materials, please contact the Fulton Police Department for safe disposal.


  1. Hey Sam, maybe you should take a drive down Pratt st. from 7th to 2nd. The city hasn’t picked up yard waste in a month and a half. I believe Pratt st. is in your ward. Take some of your own advise.

  2. Well said. We spend a fortune for trash removal. I watch city trash people picking up trash .If it falls on street they leave it. Why don’t they pick it up.

  3. I was following an SUV over the Broadway bridge that had a bumper sticker that said “My kid is an honor student at xyz Middle School.”
    A hand came out the driver’s window and released a candy wrapper. Littering is taught and reinforced at home.

  4. Thank you for the report on litter. We need more people to get involved THE GREEN TEAM

  5. In response to the residents who are brave enough to speak up about the issue of litter in our city, their replies to Mikayla Kemp’s well written article, is music to my ears. It’s invigorating to know that the movement against litterbugs is beginning to take hold. I recognize rowdy1’s frustration, and I’m thankful for the remarks from ” behind the garbage truck”, “Ariel”, and “Sandy Green”. Let me reassure all of you, I will address trash falling off the garbage trucks with our DPW department. To Ariel, I expect that our movement to fight the war against litter, will ignite our residents to become educated enough to teach our children that throwing trash out the window of the car is wrong. And to Sandy Green , I totally agree with you, we more people to get involved with the volunteer organizations mentioned in Mikayla’s article. Finally, in light of all the issues that our city is faced with, I am hopeful that by working together, we can educate the litterbugs of our city to stop using their city as a trash can. One more thing, I believe that “Earth Day” should be celebrated everyday of the year.

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