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OP-ED: Time to take action on litter

Chris Kovatch

The weather was perfect this past Wednesday. A slight breeze and mild temperatures brought me to the decision that it was probably a good day to step outside and do a quick trash pick-up at the portion of the old ‘Circle’ closest to Wal-Mart. I grabbed my trusty trash grabbers and trash bag and started my walk towards the property.

The amount of trash that has accumulated there, even with us doing a pretty extensive clean up a few weeks back, was astounding. In right at 20 minutes, I had filled an entire trash bag meant for yard clean up.

The land and the trees are beautiful. It is definitely a gem of a green area in our city and we are fortunate to have it. I began to ask myself why people don’t care. Why are they throwing trash out of their car with no qualms about where it will end up?

I know there has been much discussion about fining people who litter, but I think the better option would be to make them spend so many hours picking up trash. Perhaps this would bring a little perspective to their world view.

I also think that we should all ‘adopt’ an area to focus on. I know we didn’t make the mess, but it’s there regardless. We need to take pride in our city and be concerned about its appearance. That takes action.

Between the Shangri La trash off, the ‘Trashy Ladies’, and Mayor Larry Spears focus on cleaning up our community, we are making an impact, but it could be even greater if more people stepped up.

It doesn’t require much at all. Pick a spot in our area that needs to be addressed. Set aside some time monthly to visit it and pick up trash. If more people stepped up and did this routinely, we could have a huge impact on our town.

Talking and griping about it isn’t going to get us anywhere. Getting up and taking action is going to make our community an even greater place to live. I often say people in our community ‘Bleed Orange’, but we need more of those. Take pride and take action. Let’s pick up some trash!

Chris Kovatch is a resident of Orange County. You can reach him at news@orangeleader.com