By Doug Barry
January 05, 2006
Growing up in Ketchikan, I was always appalled by the incongruity of seeing trash prominently "displayed" against the beautiful backdrop of an otherwise pristine environment. Even then, I saw such carelessness as a sign of laziness, ignorance and stupidity.
Ketchikan's garbage dump used to be located where North Tongass Highway officially began. I remember passing by it while out boating and you'd see old cars, stoves and refuse along the banks with fresh trash being burned or smoldering up above. Finally, a new landfill was created and the eyesore of the old dump disappeared from the view of tourists and citizens alike.
But even then, you'd still occasionally see a mattress or washing machine discarded along side of the road leading up to the landfill...apparently because of laziness or a lack of cash required to pay the dumping fee.
Hopefully, there's less and less of that kind of behavior around Ketchikan some 30 years later. Today, with all the awareness and education about proper garbage disposal and recycling and all the resources that have been dedicated to those efforts, there's a higher level of conscientiousness. But we still have a ways to go.
Those who trash scenic recreation spots like Harriet Hunt are selfish and ruin the outdoor experience for everyone else. The culprits should be ashamed of themselves. But then again, maybe they just weren't raised right, educated properly or simply can't appreciate the difference between living in a beautiful place and living in squalor.
About: Doug Barry was born
and raised in Ketchikan. While attending OSU in Corvallis, he
was actively involved in the early days of the recycling movement.
Along with being a broadcaster, he also marketed recycling services
for a major waste management company in the Willamette Valley.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.