Trashing roadways more harmful than you think

Published 6:20pm Monday, December 23, 2013

To the editor:
I have written about picking up trash before.
Last week was the time to do my route along NC Rt. 9 from Rt. 108 to the transfer station. When you spend the time to pick 32 orange bags full of garbage you have time to think what could be done to lower the amount of trash being pitched and blown off trucks.
First of all the name of NC Rt. 9 should be changed to “Polk County Route of Shame.” Do we have a motion? Where are the people who spoke out against moving the transfer station? There was at that time talk about how it would affect the “Gateway to Polk County.”
There are lots of visitors driving up Rt. 9 to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. What is their impression of this ”Gateway.”
What solutions do I propose?
Other NC counties have a person at their transfer station who is empowered to ticket all trucks who do not have a cover over their trash. The fines collected easily cover the wages paid this person.
Any store selling takeout food containers should be required to put a surcharge on their take out sales. The money collected will pay for the salary of people who can now be employed to pick up the trash along county roads.
This third and last suggestion can only be addressed by the state legislators. Put a deposit on all bottles and cans. At least some people will think twice before pitching a bottle or can out the window.
In other states where there is a deposit requirement you can see people out every morning collecting the trash for the deposit money.
It has now been 11 years since I have adopted this 2-mile route. Our lawmakers should do this just once and see what chances the volunteers take. Many drivers do not give you an inch, some even move closer to the shoulder at super high speeds when they pass you.
– Manfred Walter, Columbus

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