Opinion: One year later, trash still a problem in Sumter

Posted 3/12/19

Approximately one year ago, I wrote a letter to the editor about the terrible state of trash and debris in the Sumter and Sumter County areas. The intent of my letter was to highlight this problem, …

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Opinion: One year later, trash still a problem in Sumter

Posted

Approximately one year ago, I wrote a letter to the editor about the terrible state of trash and debris in the Sumter and Sumter County areas. The intent of my letter was to highlight this problem, appeal to those who were contributing to the problem and thank those who were conscious of the problem and doing their part to correct it.

After one year of the publication of my letter, I cannot see any marked changes in how the streets, highways and rural roads are being violated by some of our citizens or others who obviously still feel that it is someone else's job to clean up behind them.

I am beginning to see larger items like mattresses thrown from vehicles on our roads and highways. It goes without saying that this is not only negative and bad for the environment and landscape, it is bad for any positive image that we might want to project to those considering relocating to our community for the purposes of living or establishing a business.

Several months ago, the road that I live off of (Boulevard Road) was inundated by flood waters. The highway department had to put up signs indicating that the road would be closed in certain locations or that the traffic would be detoured in other locations. As of today, those signs and/or barriers put in place months ago by the highway department are still there. They have since fallen into the ditches and other places on the road. They are adding to the debris and negative appearance of the landscape. My questions are: Why have these signs not been removed? And does location give priority or the lack thereof to the urgency of the problem at hand?

Debris and trash removal should be everyone's business. For years, I've always made it important to pick up ill-placed trash, etc. If all persons, community or other entities would make it a part of their daily existence to see that trash does not become a part of what describes us, things would improve. I would like to urge private citizens, churches, businesses, civic groups and other community organizations to take up the challenge. Trash and debris will always be something that we have to deal with, but we do not have to let these destroy or mar the natural beauty that all of us have the right to enjoy.

Lastly, I will say that laws on the books to address the careless or uncaring discarding of trash are good, but unless they are enforced, they become mere jokes in the minds of violators.

K.D. SINGLETON

Sumter