Editorial: Litterbugs from here to Raleigh

Jul. 07, 2014 @ 11:45 PM

About three months ago, we lent support in this space as we often have for the Vance County Appearance Commission and the Henderson Community Appearance Commission (“Everyone can make a difference,” April 25).

At the time, a special recycling day was upcoming and the annual spring litter sweep program was happening.

Pollution, sadly enough, doesn’t go away with the seasons. It doesn’t take a respite on holidays. And it hasn’t ended despite many, many fine campaigns over the years.

Keep America Beautiful, for example, is more than 50 years old and has delivered numerous efforts. It is startling to think what our country might look like without this organization.

More recently, its targets have been the larger-scale polluters of our environment along with encouragement for recycling. Through the decades, Keep America Beautiful has built strategy in education and behavior change. It has been tremendously successful.

We’re hoping the people of Henderson and Vance County wise up and act a little better, along with our General Assembly.

Close to home, we might not see it as much as we did before Iron Eyes Cody shed a tear in a famous commercial that debuted on Earth Day in 1971. But we still see the occasional car whistling by, window down and trash — quite often a fast food bag or cigarette butts — being flung from the window.

If we could act a little better, perhaps the clean sweeps wouldn’t net so many pounds of garbage. And those are small items compared to what the sweeps net.

In Raleigh, a little more education on coal ash is needed. Both the Senate and the House have shown little backbone in dealing with the problems caused by the threat.

Think about it — legislation to allow disposal of coal ash as structural fill without liners, leachate collection systems or permits. Moving coal ash from one unlined hole to another doesn’t protect the water North Carolinians drink.

The rest of the proposal favors power companies, not residents. Yet, if we don’t flood our senators and representatives with demands, bet the soon to be polluted farm we’ll have another bad law.

We’ve got work to do. Speak to the litterbugs around our streets and neighborhoods. And make sure those bigger ones in Raleigh here us, too.