The Union Recorder


February 19, 2014

Culture shift essential to curb littering



People often forget that littering is first and foremost a crime and that millions of dollars each year are spent addressing the issue. We don’t often think about this when we’re driving along or tossing a bottle or can out the window.

Cleanups, spearheaded by the volunteers, a number of whom are members of the local Young Professionals organization, have been conducted at the industrial park and at the airport. Yet, their efforts seem to continue to fall under the radar. Signage could also help to generate more awareness about these efforts and get more volunteers involved.

Corridors are of particular significance because they usher in visitors to a community and help to form their first impression. No one should want that first impression to be one with roadways strewn with litter. Placing signs at these locations could serve as another reminder.

How a community looks has a key impact into the overall quality of life. Communities littered with trash reflect disregard or unconcern not only for the physical environment, damaging neighborhoods’ natural beauty, but it also negatively impacts property values and oftentimes gives off the impression that local residents simply do not care.

Research indicates that the average American throws out 4.5 pounds of trash and litter a day. Given the volume of trash that is already there, one can only imagine the result if everyone discarded even half of that amount along our roadways.

Whether we realize it or not litter is a reflection on all of us. It’s like inviting people to our home and allowing them to trash it. Why would anyone want that?

We must change the community culture from top to bottom on littering through education and awareness in order to put a stop to it.

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