Sometimes I don’t understand people.
No, make that most of the time.
I have seen people in line at a fast food drive-through open their car window and drop a bag from their last stop on the ground. I guess they needed room for the new stuff. What made it worse was that they drove past a trash can on their way through the line.
Look, you want to live in a pig sty, go for it, but the world isn’t yours to trash.
It is kind of a weird thing, but I am offended by trash dumped in the country more than in the city. Cities have a different feel, and while free-floating trash looks bad, it is not the same as someone dumping along a country road or in a stream. For one, you know the people who dumped the trash in the country don’t live there. That isn’t the way of country folks, or at least it wasn’t.
Through the years I have visited ranches from one end of the state to the other, and while enjoying the opportunity to hunt or fish I always keep a lookout for trash that hopefully is only there because it blew out of someone’s truck. I have picked up a lot of cans, sacks, old bottles and metal junk this way.
This isn’t a random rant. It comes from a recent trip to the Neches River where I couldn’t believe what had been thrown on the ground.
With the construction of a parking lot on the Neches River, I have started going there to fish regularly. Three times one week recently. I never did like being a human bowling pin for an 18-wheeler barreling down Highway 31, but when the City of Chandler joined others in leasing access to the river and building the parking lot it seemed too easy.
I couldn’t get too excited by the fishing because of the amount of trash left on the banks of the river. What should be a pristine site was disgusting. It was littered with old bait rappers and worm boxes, drink cans and bottles. I even saw an old sock one place and a pair of man’s underwear somewhere else.
Why? Not just the clothing items, I have a theory there, but all of it. Someone had to carry that stuff in. Why is it so hard to carry it back out?
I know this isn’t an isolated situation. Any where people have recreational access to water they seem to leave a mess.
I think what irritated me most about the river was the fact the landowner has never had to allow access to the public, but has. And his reward? Socks, underwear and more garbage then are probably collected in a week in Chandler.
The parking lot project isn’t completed. The city is fencing in the lot and will be adding trash cans to it. I bet it is an exercise in futility. It is easier to throw it on the ground than pack it back out.
In other states visitors to parks, natural areas or wherever follow a practice called Leave No Trace. The idea is to carry out everything, and I mean everything, you bring in.
Unless the city or a group like the scouts or someone gets involved with clean-up days, I am guessing nothing will change. That is a shame. You go to the country to get away from the grind of the city, not make it an extension of it.
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