MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Since becoming Berkeley County’s litter control officer in February 2010, Donna Seiler has sent out dozens of violation notices, advising property owners to clean up or risk being fined.
“It’s a stewardship thing — you’ve got to take care of your community,” Seiler said.
Yet, even after sending property owners an estimated 200 or so notices, Seiler said she has yet to cite anyone.
“People generally want to do the right thing,” she said.
And Seiler, whose passion for her job is readily apparent, is ready to help them.
For her efforts, Seiler has been recognized by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection as the state’s Outstanding Litter Control Officer for 2011.
“It was an honor,” said Seiler who was among 15 individuals recognized on May 25 at the agency’s Environmental Awards of Excellence ceremony in Charleston.
She was nominated for the award by DEP inspector Michael Kanehl, who works with Seiler.
“From the outset, she realized this was more than a one-person job and has reached out and developed working relationships with the sheriff’s department, the state Division of Highways and the state departments of Environmental Protection and Health and Human Resources,” DEP officials said in recognizing Seiler’s efforts.
The agency also praised Seiler’s development of response teams using West Virginia works programs and community service personnel to assist in picking up litter in Berkeley County.
They also cited her assistance in the creation of the Safe and Clean Agency within the county to fight litter, along with unsafe, hazardous, and dilapidated structures.
Berkeley County Councilman James “Jim” Whitacre, who attended the ceremony, told fellow council members Thursday that it was nice “to see one of our own” recognized by state officials, especially considering how Seiler has helped the community.
In addition to litter control, Seiler also acts as a code-enforcement officer and serves as the Federal Emergency Management Agency project manager for the county.
Among other honorees recognized were LCS Services, which operates the North Mountain Sanitary Landfill near Hedgesville, W.Va., that is owned by Waste Management.
The municipal landfill has not received a notice of violation from state regulators over the last several years and has complied with all environmental regulations, state officials said.
“Site Manager Jim Perry works diligently with the WVDEP and corrects any issues brought to his attention during inspections in a very timely manner,” the agency said.
LCS Services has an active landfill gas-extraction system to control odors at the landfill and plans to install six more gas wells at the landfill this year, the agency said.
The landfill operator was also commended for working with several municipalities throughout the county on annual spring and fall cleanups, and donations to several of the local school districts for both academics and extracurricular activities.
“These award winners have gone above and beyond environmental compliance to truly make a difference in our state’s environment, and we are honored to have the opportunity to recognize their outstanding efforts,” DEP Secretary Randy C. Huffman said in a news release.
“We also are pleased to recognize the volunteers and community leaders, who donate so much of their time cleaning up our waterways and roadways and encouraging others to do the same. Through the efforts of all these award winners, our state is a better place to live and work.”