Editorial: Be responsible

Spring is here, finally. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the bags filled with trash are lining the side of the road. The first two signs of spring do not normally go with the third. This past weekend they did.

Local volunteers were out along County Road 2 west of Morrisburg picking up garbage from the road side. Black bags were neatly laid out on the road shoulder, 50-100 meters apart. To those volunteers who spent the first legitimately warm day of 2018 picking up other people’s trash, thank you.

The fact that those volunteers had to fish coffee cups, wrappers, fast food containers and a great deal of unmentionable other trash from along the side of the road is a disgrace.

The amount of trash in our area ditches and along the sides of our roads looks like it did 30 years ago, when littering was less an environmental concern.

Outside nearly every fast food outlet, gas station, and store, and at every park in South Dundas there are garbage cans. The Morrisburg Village Plaza has over 10 in a stretch of less than one kilometer. That is a can every 100 metres. Yet the garbage accumulates year after year. Volunteers (or paid municipal staff) have to clean up. Why?

Are we, as a society, so lazy that the simple act of taking a piece of garbage and placing it in the nearest disposal location requires too much effort? Why is it difficult for people to pick up their garbage?

Perhaps it’s carelessness. Or simply being unaware. Or just not caring. The reasons don’t matter. The littering has to stop.

To those who throw their coffee cups and soda cans, chip wrappers and cigarette butts out the window when they drive: stop. Wait until you get home, or to a gas station, or coffee shop. To those who haul yard waste or construction debris to the dump: cover your loads. If something does fall off, stop and pick it up. Be responsible for your trash.

We teach our children to pick up their messes, adults need to too. Scouts, service clubs and individuals regularly clean up our roads. They are volunteers who care: the rest of us should too.
Pick up your own trash; Dispose of it properly. It’s 2018 and there is no excuse to do otherwise.