Letter

printed 02/21/2020

Editor,

Trash Free Assateague, a program of Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) would like to recognize Worcester County’s Keep Worcester Clean campaign (“Wor. anti-litter campaign advances,” Jan 30, 2020) to raise public awareness of the littering and illegal dumping that has increasingly become a problem of concern not just in Worcester County, but across the nation.

The Keep Worcester Clean campaign exemplifies Worcester County’s acknowledgment of and commitment to encouraging stewardship and educating the public on the proper disposal of trash, particularly recyclables.

Litter on the land and in the public eye breeds civic distrust. What is on our land and in our waters is representative of the level of respect that we have for our environment, our community, and ourselves.

Particularly over the past few years, organizations, schools, groups and volunteers have put forth efforts to encourage environmental stewardship, educate on the environmental issues associated with single use plastics in the free environment, and encourage the reduction of our plastic footprint.

Aside of promoting better stewardship, the Keep Worcester Clean campaign highlights both the environmental, and the economic cost of illegal dumping along roadways and at established recycling centers.

Take a Sunday drive down any one of our otherwise scenic backroads and the evidence of negligent litter is quite dramatic.

An endless confetti of plastic beverage bottles and Styrofoam coffee cups, heaps of beer cans and soda bottles floating in the roadside ditches, and fast food remnants that have been hastily stuffed into plastic grocery bags and tossed along the side of the road.

Visit the recycling center in front of the Berlin Wal-Mart during any part of the week and you’re likely to find household garbage intentionally left in front of the county’s “No Dumping” signs, or trash bags filled with an array of plastic and glass beverage bottles tossed into the recycling container clearly labeled “Aluminum.”

Aside of the obvious lazy ignorance these scenes attest to, much of the littering problem and improper recycling practices that we’re witnessing demonstrates a nonexistent environmental ethic among those performing the defying acts.

We commend Worcester County for acknowledging the littering and illegal dumping activity that has become an increasing problem in our community and Assateague Coastal Trust’s Trash Free Assateague program looks forward to continuing as a ‘steward’ community partner with the county in this vision to instill an environmental ethic among all residents and visitors so that our land and our waterways may become litter free.

Billy Weiland

Communications Director, Founder Trash Free Assateague on behalf of Assateague Coastal Trust

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