Attacking litter

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Response to litter in our area is overwhelming and widespread. Everyone who cares about such things agrees that there is a problem that needs special attention.

Officials at every level of government agree.

Mayor Jay Knudtson of Cape Girardeau and Mayor Paul Sander of Jackson have pledged their support to efforts to address both the existing litter and how to prevent it.

Mayor Tim Porch of Scott City has already started a cleanup effort that includes eyesores and dangerous structures.

The Perry County Republic-Monitor recently published an editorial, photograph and letter regarding the litter problem there.

District representatives of the Missouri Department of Transportation are gearing up for the "No MOre Trash! Bash 2005" during April, when volunteers across the state will pick up trash along highways and make a special effort to educate Missourians about the seriousness of the litter problem.

"No MOre Trash!" is MoDOT's special anti-litter program that began a couple of years ago in an effort to reduce highway litter.

While littering by thoughtless motorists who toss items from their vehicles is a big part of the problem, there are many other factors that contribute to the overall mess.

For example, trucks that haul trash very often leave their contents along roadways. Pickup drivers sometimes use the beds of their vehicles as trash containers, only to have the litter blown out along highways and streets. Some pickup owners also complain that others use their pickup beds as trash receptacles, adding to the litter problem.

Some property owners are diligent about policing their sidewalks and roadways for trash, but other aren't, which contributes to the litter eyesores.

Dozens of regular walkers carry trash bags as part of their daily routine so they can pick up trash while they exercise. This helps keep parks and other areas popular among walkers less littered.

Litter is everyone's problem, and everyone is part of the solution. There are small ways and big ways to restore pride in our cleaned-up, litter-free communities.

Thanks to all those who are making a special effort to eliminate litter. It will take effort and time, but we can give our communities a good reputation for tidiness that doesn't include the litter that has become so much a part of our lives.

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