Voice of the people: Bill Parker




Concerned about local trash practices


In a recent letter, Mr. Fortenberry deplored the trash situation in Columbus. I have been concerned as well for various reasons and I wonder where the problem comes from. It's almost as if many or most members of the community accept trash as a "natural" part of the local scenery, as it seems to be everywhere. Some of the worst places I've seen have been on Officer's Lake Road, Lincoln Road, Bluecutt Road, near the Soccer fields, and on the "beautiful" Riverwalk.


Why doesn't the city devote more time and effort to cleaning up the community? What effect does this unsightly mess have on people passing through, considering moving here, or considering staying here? Is there no pride in community? I've visited other cities such as Denver where there is little to no trash and there seems to be a widespread ethic to avoid trashing the community.



It's interesting that China has now banned single-use plastic containers. Why can't we do that here in the USA? The Tenn-Tom Waterway is like a plastic bottle sewer, sending probably tens of thousands of these bottles and other junk south to the Gulf of Mexico. Our oceans have already become dumps for all this trash coming down rivers from cities around the world. Ocean life is being harmed and destroyed by all this junk. One of the most poignant examples I've seen was a nesting albatross trying to feed its young on a Pacific island, but couldn't because a toothbrush was caught in its throat. Animals like these which have long life spans and low levels of reproduction are particularly vulnerable to declines in population size and eventual extinction from our junk entering the oceans.


Part of my point is that careless disposal of plastic, metal, and Styrofoam containers and other such objects is not just a local problem but that there are far-reaching global effects as well. As presumably intelligent and caring individuals, we need to be aware of the costs of both local and global trash and take some responsibility to minimize our negative impact. It isn't that hard.


Bill Parker







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