Masks creating more problems for Albany

Mask Litter

ALBANY, Ga. – It’s been only a week after a mask mandate was enacted in Albany and city officials are saying they have a new mask problem: excessive litter.

They’re on roads, in parking lots and getting caught on bushes. It seems improperly disposed masks are everywhere but in trashcans in Dougherty County.

“It’s a new litter issue for us, and its not just unsightly; its not just litter but its a health issue,” says Executive Director of Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Judy Bowles.

A health issue since people who have to pick up after mask litter bugs, are potentially exposing themselves to COVID-19.

“We all need to take responsibility for that and not make the PPE items hazardous for any of us.” 

However Bowles tells us failing to dispose of single-use masks doesn’t come without consequence.

“You can be fine up to 1000 dollars, a judge can also make you pick up litter in a one mile radius and if you’re a repeat offender, you can serve jail time.”

And keeping areas litter-free comes with a price at taxpayers’ expense.

“The state of Georgia last year, just the Department of Transportation paid 10 million dollars to pick up litter on the state highways, we should be spending that money on crime or education. We need to be more responsible and do what’s right.”

If you choose to keep Dougherty County beautiful, be sure to throw your mask in the trash.