Letter: A chance to show some community pride
Reading your Letters to the Editor column is a way to learn more about the concerns of our neighbors. Change requires involvement by many people, whether at the national, state or local level. In that vein I would like to address Alice Hunt’s letter, “Roadside trash disheartening,” that appeared in the Feb. 13 edition.
Ms. Hunt’s comments reflect the litter and trash situation in Gloucester as well as Mathews County, and I share her concerns about the problem. Thousands of visitors will soon come to Gloucester County for the Daffodil Festival. This should be an opportunity to showcase our county. Sadly, the county is a mess.
I am convinced that some county residents do not care, and will never care, about the environmental impact of their littering. Roadside litter and trash are eyesores and can be dangerous and unhealthy. Littering and dumping are illegal. Yet each year in Gloucester County, volunteers pick up tons of soft drink and beer bottles, cans, fast-food wrappers and cups, shopping bags, boxes, tires, car parts, lumber, furniture, television sets, toilets and other illegally or improperly discarded trash. All of these items could have been properly discarded at one of our local convenience centers. In addition to “regular” litter, more full trash bags are appearing on the roadside. People should take steps to ensure their entire load of trash makes it to the convenience center and nothing gets lost along the way.
While the litter blight will most likely never be erased, it is the goal of the Gloucester Clean Community Committee (GCCC) to reduce litter in Gloucester through litter cleanups and increased public awareness. For those of us who want to take pride in the way our highways and roads look, participating in Clean Gloucester Day on Saturday, March 8, goes a step beyond letter-writing and is part of a proactive solution. During the last three annual Clean Gloucester Days, neighbors like you have collected more than 65,000 pounds of litter and other trash including furniture, tires, mattresses, and fishing nets. That means there are 32.5 tons less litter on our roads today than there would otherwise have been.
Bring your families—when teens and preteens participate, they learn first-hand the impact of littering. Bring your neighbors—there is a social benefit in spending time with your neighbors performing a needed community service. Involve your business as a way to give back to the community that supports your operation. It only requires a few hours of your time on a Saturday morning. I have never heard anyone who participated in a cleanup say that they did not feel good about doing it.
The GCCC will have bags, safety vests, gloves and other cleanup supplies as well as a dumpster for disposing of litter-filled trash bags available at either the Gloucester Main Library parking lot or by the Hayes Commuter Parking Lot next to the Guinea Road Convenience Center from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 8.
Register your group online at http://www.gloucesterva.info/Clean or by calling the Clean Community Office at 693-5370. Let’s help get Gloucester ready for spring and the Daffodil Festival.