Nobody likes cleaning up someone else’s mess. That’s particularly true of illegal dump sites. Bags of garbage, sofas and old tires discarded by the roadside do not present a favorable first impression of our region to visitors.
We all bear the cost when it comes to cleaning up these dumps. Instead of valuable tax dollars going to fund schools, roads and utilities, these public funds are often used to pay government employees and private citizens to clean up discarded tires, old refrigerators and garbage dumped in rural communities.
It just shows how thoughtless and lazy a few of the residents of our area can be. Unfortunately, few of these illegal dumpers are ever punished for their contemptible behavior.
The problem is catching litterbugs in the act. Law enforcement officials say they have neither the manpower nor the resources to patrol for littering violations. Modern technology, however, may be able to catch these litter bugs. Many communities are now installing hidden cameras in remote areas where illegal dumping occurs.
You can help by keeping an eye out for litterbugs. If you see someone tossing trash out a car window, take down their license plate number and call the proper authorities.
You can also help by participating in litter cleanup and beautification projects in your community. Neighborhood associations in Johnson City often sponsor litter and household hazardous waste cleanup days. Get involved in these programs.