By Randy Garrison
If you are my age or a little older, you might remember the commercial about littering that used to run quite frequently.
The commercial featured a Native American man watching as litter was thrown from a moving vehicle and landing at his feet. The real clincher was the close–up of the tear rolling down his cheek as the commercial faded away.
Other anti-litter commercials have aired through the years, especially those from the “Keep America Beautiful Campaign,” and I seem to remember a “Don’t Trash Alabama” campaign as well.
When I was in elementary school, a group – and I can’t remember who – used to hand out trash bags that would hang inside your car. This was to remind folks to put their trash inside the bag, not throw it out onto our streets and roadways.
Over the past few weeks, several folks have contacted me about litter along our roadways and in the ditches around our city.
Unfortunately, in the winter months, the trash does seem to show up more. Perhaps this is because of the grass being dead and more rain moving the trash down the ditches and roadsides. However, there is no excuse for litter being thrown from moving vehicles anywhere – whether in our city or county or anywhere, for that matter.
When you pick up a meal from a fast-food restaurant, which seems to constitute most of the trash I have seen, you are usually served in a bag. If you consume your meal before you reach your destination, use that bag to hold the trash, and please keep it inside your vehicle and dispose of it when you arrive.
Many of the calls involved asking for city employees to pick up the trash; however, the City of Hartselle does not have the manpower to continuously pick up trash along our streets and roadways.
Now, if a large amount of trash is lost, such as a full trash bag, the street department will make every effort to clean up that particular area.
In the summer months, the contractor who mows the medians does attempt to pick up trash before mowing, but some will be missed and shredded by the mowers.
We have a beautiful city most of us are very proud of. We all need to work together to ensure it stays that way – not only for all of us who call Hartselle home but also for those who visit our city.
I think communicating this to folks would be the best solution to stopping some of the litter and trash. There are trash receptacles at most businesses and shopping centers and even downtown.
There are fines for littering, and if vehicles are seen by our police, the driver can receive a citation, but it has to be witnessed by the officer.
Perhaps we can work more with our school system to educate our young folks about littering, who will then pass that message along.
Let me encourage each of you to pick up in your neighborhoods or in front of your homes. Please be sure to wear gloves, especially now with COVID, and please report if you see a large amount of trash so it can be contained before it spreads.
If your group or organization would like to adopt an area, please contact City Hall, and someone can get you in contact with a person to coordinate your efforts. Garbage bags can be provided for your group.
This is our hometown, and only we can make the difference to keep it clean and litter free.
Let’s all work together to prevent littering and do our part to help keep our city clean and welcoming for all.