Trash a huge problem at Lake Lawtonka - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Trash a huge problem at Lake Lawtonka

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – City of Lawton officials are growing frustrated with the amount of trash being left behind by visitors of Lake Lawtonka and Lake Ellsworth.

They say beer cans, food and even dirty diapers are just a few of the things left behind every weekend.

Trash from weekend parties covers the ground, just yards away from dumpsters put there to prevent the problem.

"It’s unsightly and unsanitary for the amount of material that gets left here over the weekends,” Lake Supervisor Jim Bonnarens said.

Bonnarens said they only have five or six people each summer that are responsible for all of the landscaping and maintenance at both Lake Lawtonka and Lake Ellsworth. That includes mowing, fixing the restrooms and, indirectly, picking up other people's trash.

"It puts us behind,” Bonnarens said. “This will be another hour and a half or two hours today that we're picking up trash before we can even mow this sight. The more people I pull into this, if all five of us are over here then nothing else gets done. Manpower, this is a drain on it."

Bonnarens said this is a problem every summer and it’s one they've gone to great lengths to prevent. Sometimes they'll actually take trash bags out to lake-goers but those bags usually just get left by the tables. They've even gone as far as moving the dumpsters right into the parking lot.

"It's at the parking area so we figured when they come back they're going to be coming back to their vehicle, they can bring everything they had down on the lake shore with them and throw it in the dumpsters,” Bonnarens said.

Bonnarens said even that didn't solve the problem.

"I really don't know what the fix is,” Bonnarens said. “It's really probably an enforcement issue but with staffing down that's difficult."

Bonnarens said he doesn't think they are asking for much, simply for people to throw away their own trash on their way out. He said that simple act could go a long way for the area.

"We've got one of the nicest lakes around, we've got great views,” Bonnarens said. “It would be nice to have those folks leave with the impression that the local people, if in fact it is local folks that are leaving the material, actually appreciate the property. It'd be nice to have visitors actually appreciate coming down here."

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