WATERVILLE (AP) — Roadside trash is a problem in many Maine communities, but there appears to be no consistent plan to tackle the issue.

The Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1n1GMUa ) reported that different Maine towns have different strategies, unlike other states that have statewide plans.

Matt Gomes of the Forest Protection Division of the Maine Forest Service says the number of illegal dumping complaints has grown in recent years, from 250 five years ago to about 325 in 2013.

The variety of trash ranges from small items like beer cans and Styrofoam cups, to larger items, including tires, car parts, and old appliances.

Experts said roadside trash is a strain on community finances, and not just from the cost of cleaning it up. It drives property values down, taxes up, discourages tourists and can endanger public health.

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