Littering is a disgrace to our beautiful home

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This is an open letter to Polk County citizens, town managers and commissioners.

Over the years, many of us have picked up trash on our roads. Probably some of us have discussed the issue of trash with our elected officials. Undoubtedly, no one reading this letter will have tossed trash on the roads. 

But the amount of trash seems to be increasing. It is unsightly and a disgrace to our beautiful environment of which we are so proud. 

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In the past, I have suggested to the Columbus town manager and county commissioners that signs alerting drivers of a dollar penalty for littering might effect a change in behavior. 

Before Thanksgiving and Christmas, I hesitated to report the increase of trash on Houston Road in Columbus because so much work on electric poles was going on and working conditions were difficult because of frequent rain. 

One day, when I was stuck in a long line of cars waiting for the single lane traffic to change in my favor, I was right next to a helmeted worker. I rolled down the window and after greeting her asked who was in charge. She pointed to a man who was at the stop light at 108 and Houston Road. 

She said she would be happy to pass on a message if I had one.  I said that I was concerned about the amount of lunch trash, drinking cups and cans on Houston Road and I would be grateful if she could mention it to the supervisor. 

She said she would, but said the supervisor had already told workers that when they finished the job, the trash had to be collected. I replied that they had already been working on Houston for several days in a row and that I thought trash had to be collected more frequently than at the end of projects that lasted many days. 

The trash that was there before Thanksgiving is still there, on both sides of the roads.

When I drove my Christmas visitors to Greenville International Airport for return flights to their homes, for the first time in driving to GSP over the last 16 years, I noticed that both sides of the road into the airport were littered with lunch take-away cartons, paper cups and cans. There is a great deal of construction work going on as the airport is being enlarged. I can only guess who might be responsible for the litter. 

Conservation is a strong emphasis in our county. Trash issues should be considered as part of conservation issues.

I hope others might join me to complain about trash to those who make laws.

Patricia Gass, Columbus