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Phillipsburg city leaders vow to fight the trash

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 21 2014 08:21:00 AM CDT

Trash talk in Pburg

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -

Leaders in one New Jersey town are talking trash. Officials say there's too much garbage being dumped in Warren County.

About 15,000 people call the town of Phillipsburg home. But it's what these people are leaving behind that has local leaders on a mission.

"Mountains of it, couches, It's personal garbage, it's furniture, it's clothing --disgusting things you see out there," described Phillipsburg Council President Todd Tersigni.

He said the trash is unacceptable, and it's impacting the town's image and quality of life.

"Keeping it out there days and weeks at a time will not be tolerated by the town of Phillipsburg," Tersigni added.

He wants to go after the people dumping the litter on the streets and sidewalks, and if it's a rental property, he says the landlord needs to be held accountable. Tersigni is asking local judges to raise fines to $1,000 per citation.

"A stiffer fine will send a message that we will not tolerate this anymore," he explained.

It's an idea many in the town seem to support. They say they'd love to see the town cleaned up.

"I think it's disgusting," shared Penny Consentino. "It makes the town look horrible."

"These people are moving in and out and they're leaving all their stuff," Robert Skinner said.

"My neighbor out back had a big couch sitting out there and they got cited for it," added Consentino.

Phillipsburg leaders believe there's no excuse for the garbage. The town will haul away one truck full of refuse for free each year, as long as folks schedule the pick-up.

If officials have it their way, things will change.

"If it's put out on the weekend, we're not going to tolerate it," Mayor Harry Wyant explained. "The property owner is going to be summonsed on Monday, I guarantee it."

"I am going to continue on this mission. I am not going to stop," promised Tersigni. "I am going to continue to go until it's done."