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Let's talk trash
by Jerry A. Cegelske


April 09, 2004

After checking on some new litter in the Borough, I am again amazed by what people dump and leave for others to clean up. It is also amazing how damaging to the environment we can be.

Some of you may take an Easter Sunday drive North of town. If you do you may want to stop at the overlook at about 12 1/2 or mile 13 if you get hungry. Someone was nice


Pickles left at overlook at mile 13 No. Tongass...


Bucket which once contained oil left in the woods...


Table dumped near N. Tongass mile 17 pullout...
enough to leave a jar of pickles for you to snack on! How thoughtful! Don't you wish everyone else was so considerate?

I also found a five gallon bucket that contained oil when it was put in the woods below a pull off near mile 17. It now has oil scum on the top and water below it. What was the person thinking when they left it there? I'm sure the oil is in the ocean now or soaking deeper into the water table to contaminate it. They could have recycled it or taken it to the landfill for proper disposal but instead placed it to contaminate the water and ocean. Brilliant thinking.

Someone also tossed a table they no longer wanted so the squirrels would have a place to dine in style! All of this will come back to effect someone someday. Let's work to clean it up now.

Next week is supposed to have good weather for SE. If you want to get the kids away from the tv, get some exercise, feel good about yourself, and help the community, pick up some trash bags and collect trash along
the Tongass Highway. The state will pick up the bags along the road and appreciate the effort you have given the people of Ketchikan and Alaska. ALPAR bags are available but regular or heavy duty bags will also work.
Within a few short weeks the grass and vegetation will begin to hide the trash where it will stay for the next year unless it is cleaned up now. You will never know when you may find something valuable while cleaning
up trash. It's like the commercial for the metal detectors you see on tv. I found a fortune cookie fortune in a pile of trash which read "All your hard work will pay off!" You may be rewarded also!

We can clean it up, or we could put up a sign, "Ketchikan, the cleanest city in Alaska". The cruise ship tourists going North won't know the difference until they see other towns and the ones heading South will
know it's a joke. And a bad one at that. If everyone helped out like Judy and John Stenfjord (Sitnews Nov. 8, 2003), Ketchikan would really be a beautiful place to live. (It would also help greatly if people quit littering!)

Should a LARGE group of people desire to participate in a clean up effort, I have several areas that need work. I can arrange with the State for assistance and equipment to collect the bags and large items. There is one area 100 people wouldn't be too many. There are also many smaller areas that need to be cleaned up by smaller groups.

"Thanks" to all the unsung people that do their part to help clean our community up. Your work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by those around you.

For a cleaner Ketchikan.

Jerry A. Cegelske
Code Enforcement Officer



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