Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rick - Litter Police

One new chore I’ve assigned to myself is litter patrol in my neighborhood. Thanks to the nice people visiting our neighbors, we always have an abundance of litter tossed from passing cars.

It’s not a problem confined to my area because I see litter and garbage by the roadside almost everywhere I go in Alabama.

I’ve been behind people at red lights that actually put their cars in park, open their doors and dump an ashtray full of cigarette butts right there in the street.

I wonder what gave them the idea that this is acceptable behavior? I guess they think that cigarette butts are not really litter “since they are biodegradable.” I actually believe that plutonium would break down and become safe for the environment quicker than a cigarette filter. Those butts will still be in the gutter when the sun runs out of gas and the moon turns in to Swiss cheese.

I for one, think it’s OK for policemen to taser anyone they catch doing the dump and run routine. I’m not talking about doing any serious damage, but hit them with enough voltage to make them wet their britches and cause a permanent condition that makes them twitch involuntarily whenever they hear the word litter.

I think the fine in Walker County is $25 and has the same priority as prosecuting those who tear the labels off mattresses.

I really think the penalty for littering should not be money, but sixteen hours of supervised community service where the violators must pick up roadside litter for a weekend. It would be best if they had to perform the community service in THEIR community so that hopefully they would be embarrassed when friends and neighbors see them on garbage patrol.

As bad as littering is, there are much worse offenders. It’s those degenerates who dump dead animals by the side of the road that galls me most!

There is a wide place in the road on the way to our house and we find a variety of dead creatures dumped there constantly. It’s common to see dogs, cats, and other critters tossed out. Have these folks never heard of a shovel?

During hunting season this past year someone had cut the heads off two deer and dumped the carcasses there for our community to enjoy. I’m telling you, these folks must have crawled from the shallow end of the gene pool.

All the hunters I know find this as disturbing as I do and would readily endorse the taser treatment I mentioned above for the offenders.

I can write until my fingers are blue and this problem will not go away. In reality, I don’t think fines are the answer, because as dumb as people are who litter, they normally have enough smarts to refrain from littering while a patrol car is behind them.

I think the answer to this problem is early education and teaching kids to have a sense of pride in one’s community and state. Then perhaps they’d take better care of the planet than their parents.

I know you may say, Rick, with all the problems we face in this country today, why are you wasting your breath on the problem of litter.

Well, the thing is, you can’t fix all the problems at once but you have to start somewhere. Why not start here at home, and clean up Walker County.

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