DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (DC News Now) — People in Prince George’s County said they are frustrated with the growing amount of litter they’re seeing in their neighborhoods.

Sonia Staples is a longtime resident of District Heights. Seeing the amount of litter piling up near Forestville Road is something of which she’s not proud.

“I don’t want this to be a reflection of my neighborhood,” said Staples.

On Saturday, District Heights Commissioner Anthony Tilghman hosted a community cleanup.

“We have to be the change that we want to see in our own communities., and I think that’s what we have to just show people what we want our communities to be like. I think if we’re constantly doing this and making the effort to clean up then people will do the same,” said Tilghman. “When the campaign season was happening Marlboro Pike was full of signs and it was like full of dirt and it had never been clean. I always looked at it and I said I wonder when were they’re going to clean it?”

Some of the effort Saturday involved hitting areas around businesses.

“I think this is something that we need to talk to the business owners because at the end of the day is a reflection of the community but also a reflection on their businesses. If somebody is driving past and they see dirt in a building in a business, they will not feel comfortable to come over there and patronize that business,” said Staples.


The community event came just a few days after County Executive Angela Alsobrooks launched a 120-day initiative to increase efforts in cleaning up litter and mowing the grass to keep the county clean.


“I think the theme is gorgeous Prince George’s and dirt is not part of being gorgeous, [it’s] something that is clean something that is presentable,” said Staples.

Staples and Tilghman said it starts with the community and it should be an all-hands-on-deck effort.

“I feel a sense of pride because I know that if I drive tomorrow, I drive later on today on forest hill road. I know I had a part in making sure that other community looks clean,” said Staples.

Tilghman said he hopes to plan more community cleanup events in the future.