Letter: Shining a light on the problem of littering
I’d like to thank all of the county citizens who, as individuals or groups, work to keep our roads and waterfront free of litter. I appreciate knowing that I am not alone, as I do my bit to sweep up behind those county citizens who have no pride of ownership and thus think it is okay to toss trash out the window or boat or zip to the dump with debris blowing out of the back of their truck.
The common theme that I hear from those who keep picking up behind others is frustration—but changing the poor habits of littering adults is a daunting task, so I encourage each of you to keep cleaning up Gloucester County because you care about it. It matters to a larger number of us than you might know.
Despite our collective efforts to date, litter from motorists remains a pervasive problem in this county, with roadsides strewn with packaging from fast food, snacks and tobacco, beverage cans and bottles, plastic bags, and larger items from uncovered loads. The volume of discarded cigarette-related trash (butts and packaging) is staggering (65 percent of smokers have been observed to litter). About 85 percent of littering is simply because of an individual’s attitude and, interestingly, the more litter there is, the more likely a person is to litter (visit the Keep America Beautiful website).
It matters to never give up our clean-up efforts and to keep finding ways to express our disapproval of littering and a preference for clean, litter-free communities.
One such step to meet both intentions is the proclamation passed on Jan. 4 by the board of supervisors to hold an annual countywide Clean Gloucester Day. This year’s event is being organized by the Gloucester Clean Community Committee for the morning of March 12 (inclement weather date is March 19).
It’s a chance for the anti-litter community as a whole to be visible. It is written that it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, and so let us light a bunch of candles in 2011 and enroll more of those around us in our efforts. Check out the Clean Community website for further information on upcoming events.
If not you, then who? If not now, then when?