Driving down Estes extension the other day I saw a group of good folks on both sides of the road filling orange trash bags with litter. Then I read about the 70 volunteers who cleaned up in the Rogers Road area, collecting just over 1 ton of trash and just short of 2 tons of material that can be recycled. Traveling around our town and state, I compare us to other places I visit and it’s very obvious that we have a littering problem.
Let’s be honest, we have some slobs who lack pride and concern for the rest of us and the environment. This behavioral problem costs all of us. I know we have anti-littering laws and that there are fines, but it sure appears that it is not much of a deterrent. We spend millions of Department of Transportation dollars cleaning up and many volunteers invest a lot of time and energy picking up this stuff others throw down.
Why? What can we do to encourage people to dispose of their trash properly? What can we to instill the civic pride that would make talking about this unnecessary? We are at the point where something has to happen. Would it help if we make this a topic of community conversation and emphasis and increase our education efforts? Any solution has to start with us and I hope that we can give voice to this real problem and all get behind solving our littering problem.
Talk trash as you support our Tar Heel teams but don’t throw your trash down!