January 30, 2014 | Vol. 40, No. 5

Editorial: Don't litter

While walking through Sandy Beach Park this week I found a plastic grocery bag on the ground, about 20-feet from a trash can provided by the Parks and Recreation Dept. I marveled that someone didn’t care enough to walk a short distance to properly dispose of the bag, rather than throw it on the beach.

Trash cans are quite plentiful and appropriately spaced throughout the park.

As I followed the driveway to Sandy Beach Road, I continued to gather trash strewn along the route, and to make a long, sad story short, by the time I covered less than two city blocks, the plastic bag was bulging and overflowing with cans, bottles, snack boxes and food wrappers.

How can any resident or guest visiting this community think that it’s okay to deposit trash along the rights-of-way within this borough, or the state?

Why is it that we teach our children to measure and control the carbon footprint they leave behind, while not advising them of the need for community pride and common respect for both public and private property?

I was taught at a young age to put trash in my pocket and later, throw it into the nearest trash can. Why should anyone have to pick up the trash someone else deposits onto the ground?

I often see others picking up roadside trash and I appreciate their efforts. In the meantime, I continue to struggle with the thoughtless people who recklessly toss their garbage anywhere but into a trash can.

Somewhere, some basic lessons in self-control and community pride got missed, or were learned and later forgotten.

Thank goodness for the Roadside Litter Control volunteers who turn out regularly to clear the trash too many leave scattered all over this island. The State of Alaska’s Adopt a Highway program is a good one, but with some extra effort by every resident, it shouldn’t be necessary to have to pick up other people’s trash.

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