Trashy people

Sunday at church, a friend stopped me in the hallway and said, “I want you to write an article for me. Entitle it ‘The trashiest people live in Appling County.’ I live out by the river and people throw out trash in my yard every single day of my life. I can clean up the yard at night, and by morning my yard is full of beer cans, fast food wrappers, and Heaven only knows what else. I’m at my wits end and have no idea what else to do. You try.”

I assured him that I would try, but I couldn’t promise anything. I’ve tried before on many occasions. I’m afraid my persuasive powers are not very powerful when this issue is concerned. Perhaps my trusty readers can provide some advice. How do we convince the trash tossers to cease and desist this trashy behavior? Nobody wants to see the beautiful roadsides and lee ways cluttered with trash. Why not just put a plastic bag in the car to collect the trash. It would be a simple matter to take it out when you get home or empty it when you stop to fill up with gas. You could even recycle the bag.

No one’s asking complicated tasks of anyone.

I don’t live near the river. I live near Lake Mayers, but I have the same problem. I pick up an incredible number of cans during a week’s worth of days, along with whatever paper falls. Yet my eyes never fall on a clean yard. I like my yard to be beautiful during the summer, though some of you who pass by it on a daily basis may have your doubts here lately. I’ve barely been able to find four consecutive dry hours to cut the lawn. I need a pontoon mower on most days, but I’m not complaining about the rain. I prayed for it back when the drought was setting in, so I’m not about to ask God to quit answering my prayers. I can keep mowing between showers and on an occasional dry day. Whenever I mow, you can bet I’ll have to pick up the trash before I do, or the blades of the mower will send trash all over the entire yard.

Even worse than my yard on any given day are the shoulders of Buck Head Road. Coming back from town one day, I saw enough trash to fill a huge lawn and leaf bag. It was scattered on the shoulders from the lake side of the railroad track on down to the curve. I know how much the folks who live down there appreciated the extra abundance that day. Someone had to deliberately scatter all those bottles, papers, and plastic scraps everywhere. I can’t think of any other way it could have arrived. The rain falls in water, not trash, no matter what it looks like. How nice it would be to have some of these people who find themselves in minor trouble with the law out in bright yellow vests on the county’s highways picking up trash. That might even be one solution.

Let me sing another verse of this song. People know it’s illegal to litter. Their behavior shows the rest of the world how much they care for the laws of this land. If they know the law but ignore it, how can we be surprised when they ignore gun laws, speeding laws, drug laws, etc.? The gentleman who asked me to write this article said to point out that ignorant people can’t read anyway. If they are so ignorant as to litter all the highways and byways constantly, they probably can’t read so this will indeed be in vain. It’s like the preacher’s lecturing the congregation about not coming to church when they’re all sitting there listening to the sermon. His words fall on deaf ears; mine, before blind eyes.

But I promised to write the article, so I did. Here it is, but it won’t do any good unless we put our heads together and figure out a way to stop the littering. A few months ago, the garden club and the city of Baxley had a trash pickup day, which did help tremendously, but temporarily. And what about the county roads? We do have some smart people in this county. Why can’t we find a solution? My friend and I would certainly appreciate one.

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