The Union Recorder

May 15, 2013

EDITORIAL: Community forum a chance to weigh in on litter issue


The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Ever passed by unsightly litter along the roadways and thought, someone should do something about it? A community forum this week is an opportunity for local residents to affect the kind of change they would like to see.

The local litter task force is holding an open forum at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Baldwin County Board of Education and members of the community are invited. This is an opportunity to brainstorm on ideas on litter prevention, education on the problem and solutions for its causes.

The task force was established a few weeks ago following a discussion during a county commission meeting. This is an opportunity for members of the community to weigh in and have a say in which direction this task force takes. The projected goal is to have a plan of action within the next 30 days.

Representatives from local law enforcement, government, economic development, transportation and education are expected to attend. It’s time for everyone to stop looking at the issue as merely aesthetics in regards to the litter issue. While this too, is important, there are development factors to take into consideration as well. Litter and unkempt areas of town have the potential to hinder growth and progress because it’s a negative and a turn off to development.

We should all remember that what others see when they enter our community helps to form their opinions and outlooks on us. If they see garbage strewn along our roadways and streets, it’s a poor reflection on the entire community.

There have been efforts to address this issue in the past, but the only way to find a viable and lasting solution is to get input from the community on how the problem should be addressed and target efforts there. Community involvement is key to finding answers to any number of issues, and this is no exception. There has to be buy-in from the community if this effort is going to work, which is why community presence is necessary on Thursday.

Task force meetings will be held quarterly to focus on efforts to combat this community-wide issue. Anyone who has every passed by litter along local roadways and wondered why no one is doing anything about it now has an opportunity to weigh in on how to address it. Getting together representatives from a number of sectors to hear how the issue affects their line of work and what they suggest or can do to address the problem is a good start. Meeting regularly and focusing solely on this problem is the only way to making this effort sustainable for the future.

Efforts to beautify and preserve what’s ours must begin with everyone. It’s time to become a part of the solution.