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A season of garbage

Mar 18, 2014 10:15 am | Janice Huser

Itís that time of year again, the snow is melting and the sun is shining a bit brighter, warming up the ground, melting the snow, and uncovering the mess that is always buried within the different layers of each snowstorm thatís passed in the last five months.

Aside from actually despising the mud and wet that comes with the spring thaw, one of my biggest annoyances is all the trash that can be seen strewn in the ditches, stuck in fences along fields, and pretty much everywhere else you look.

Litter drives me crazy. I donít understand the mental state of just being able to throw garbage out the window. Iíll admit Iíve been known to miss the drive-thru garbage once or twice when itís overflowing and I need to make room for a fresh coffee in one of my cup holders. But even then I get a twinge of guilt and I often get the urge to get out of my truck and pick it up.

I believe the first thing I ever got mad at my husband for when we started dating was when he nearly left an empty drink container somewhere it didnít belong. Ever since then, he wouldnít dare litter in front of me, and he was the one to point out the amount of litter along the highway on our drive into St. Paul the other day.

At least I know that in 11 years of being together, I have taught him something.

I donít know if many people out there will actually admit to being a litter bug, but by the looks of things, it appears that there are either a lot of people throwing small amounts of garbage out of their vehicles, or just a few people leaving large amounts.

Had my husband not pointed out the garbage (most being of the fast-food variety), I may not have really noticed it the other day. My gaze was past the dirty ditches as I looked into the fields, noticing that the snow really was melting after what has felt like an eternity.

Iím sure there are many of us who filter out the garbage from our views. We ignore it because itís always there. But thatís not an excuse. Every year, when local 4-H clubs and students from schools pitch in to clean up the trash Iím thankful, but it also concerns me.

Why must the young people, children who most likely are not the culprits in throwing the trash on the ground, be the ones cleaning up after the people who are littering? I would guess the vast majority of people littering are over the age of 16. Itís people who have money to purchase items, or haul loads of garbage that arenít tied down properly.

My six-year-old surely hasnít littered in my presence in the past five months, and I highly doubt the majority of the garbage that accumulates in school playgrounds and parks was left by the children playing in those areas. Yet, they will be the ones to put on the rubber gloves and pick it up.

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