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Letter: Drinkers use roadsides as dumping grounds

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Bags of trash. Littering along one block of river road.
Bags of trash. Littering along one block of river road.

Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

Maybe it was the three hours we had spent picking up other people’s trash or the 30-degree weather seeping into my bones, but I wasn’t in a good mood the other day.

If you are like me, you regularly clean the sticks and leaves from your yard to keep it looking good, so I have a hard time understanding why people driving along River Road feel it is OK to throw their trash in our woods.

Last year we picked up 17 bags and this year an additional three bags of discarded roadside trash along the “one city block” of River Road that borders our horse pasture.

Picking up other people’s trash is a real education, but here is the really sad news: Almost a quarter of the litter we picked up was the same pint vodka bottle with the same price tag most likely bought at the same store by the same person.

Think about it: Do you want to be on the same road with someone drinking that much liquor and driving? If you add all the beer cans and bottles on top of the vodka bottles, it should make you as worried as it does me!

There is a sign that says “No Dumping – Yard Waste,” but I guess people figure that their trash is not yard waste, just “vehicle waste.”

Where I grew up, parents taught their kids that littering the roadside was a crime against other people, and we better not get caught doing it as we would have to answer to them, and we would also be paying the $300 government fine.

I’m not sure if Columbus has a fine for littering, but if we do not, maybe it is time we have one and post a few signs to warn people inclined to litter our roadsides that they are breaking the law.

After cleaning up other people’s litter, I can truly relate to Harry McCawley’s Feb. 28 column, “Trash Sullying City Treasure.” Our fine city and county are viewed as gems by many people, and litter only takes away from that status.

How would you feel if people started throwing trash in your yard?

Remember this feeling and take an extra three seconds to put your trash in a trash can and teach your children the same.

Michael Andrie is a Columbus resident.

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