SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re: Novel litter idea
By Karen Ramsey


February 20, 2007
Tuesday PM

I'm a litter-hater who picks up garbage nearly every time I walk along trails, the beaches, or the highway; however, I don't like Mr. Patton's "novel litter idea." Why should those who care about their environment and handle garbage responsibly be expected to get out there and pick up after those who don't give a hoot about where their garbage ends up because they are uncaring and LAZY. There are many civic-minded people who do pick up litter, but it's usually a matter of hours before the cleaned-up area is littered again. I doubt that those guilty of littering look at people picking up garbage and think, "Gee, maybe I shouldn't toss my garbage on the ground." It sometimes seems as though the spoilers can't wait to mess up a cleaned-up stretch. Granted, in Ketchikan we have multiple factors involving the spread of garbage among our midst, but in the end it all boils down to human carelessness. If the bears, dogs, and ravens are spreading it around, they're doing it with the help of humans.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so instead of suggesting that litter-haters get out there and pick it up, why not suggest the establishment of an anti-litter campaign in the schools so we can educate young ones about the detrimental effects of a dirty town, especially one so dependent on tourism. If kids see older people litter and they've learned in school that littering is wrong, they might in turn try to educate their elders.

I googled "Ketchikan litter problem" this morning and on the first page of hits came across the minutes of a June 2, 2005, Ketchikan City Council meeting wherein it was moved, seconded, and passed that the council accept the bid of a local company for a contract "providing for the purchase of a vacuum litter collector" and directing the city manager to execute the contract documents on behalf of the City Council. I hope that means that such a machine will soon help clean up our streets and highway ditches, but maybe I'm reading into that. We sure could use some governmental involvement in the fight against litter in this community!

Karen Ramsey
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 20, 2007 - Published February 20, 2006

About: "Someone who picks up litter but doesn't enjoy it."




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