Friday, 09 April 2021 16:37

RO EDITORIAL: Let's clean up Richmond County and keep it that way

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RO EDITORIAL: Let's clean up Richmond County and keep it that way Dave Filippo - Wilson Times

It’s time for a little spring cleaning in Richmond County.

As anyone who drives around the county has noticed, there is a trash problem.

It’s not a new issue. 

In fact, it’s been discussed by the Richmond County Board of Commissioner for the past several years. County Manager Bryan Land even documents government-run clean-up efforts in his monthly report to the board.

Between county and N.C. Department of Transportation workers, an average of 3-5 tons of garbage each month is picked up from about 20 Richmond County roadsides — usually the same ones.

But it’s not just a local problem.

Last October, humor columnist Joe Weaver wrote about the “bumper crop of Bojangles trash” in full bloom in Eastern North Carolina.

Across the state, according to NCDOT, about 500 tons have been collected each of the first three months of this year.

In February, House Bill 100, which would double the fine for those caught littering, was introduced in the N.C. House of Representatives.

The following month, NCDOT announced the Swat-A-Litterbug app that “will allow users to easily report when someone sees trash being thrown from a vehicle,” and had Country singer Luke Combs record an anti-littering PSA.

Large fines and a snitching app are unlikely to make any real change, and we shouldn’t rely on government for a solution.

What we should do is take it upon ourselves to make a difference.

We applaud those who have volunteered their time to make Richmond County more beautiful — from the employees at von Drehle who picked up three pickup truck loads in a half-mile stretch near the plant, to the Eco Club at Richmond Early College High School, and those from Place of Grace Campus who cleaned up their neighborhood earlier this week.

We also encourage residents to take part in the countywide clean-up event on Earth Day, April 24.

However, keeping the county clean should be a constant effort and not just a once-in-a-while thing.

And while picking up trash is a worthy cause, it doesn’t tackle the problem head-on.

That lies with individual responsibility.

When going to one of the county’s convenience sites, make sure your bags are secure so nothing — including a full bag of household garbage —  flies out. 

If you get there and it’s closed, you can go to one that’s open or just wait until the next day. Don’t just dump your trash in a nearby or isolated area.

It takes a little digging, but the county website has the schedules for all sites listed. It’s better to check ahead before you go.

When you’re driving down the road, don’t throw food bags, bottles and the like out of the window. Chuck it in your floorboard or keep a small bag handy to place garbage in until you can get to a trash can, either at a gas station, restaurant or home.

If everyone did that, there wouldn’t be nearly as much roadside rubbish to clean up each month.

We should all do our part to keep Richmond County and North Carolina beautiful.


Last modified on Friday, 09 April 2021 16:56