Efforts can be made to reduce roadside trash

March 16, 2017

I was interested to read the editorial concerning trash-filled roadways in the March 7 Cape Gazette. I am a new resident to Sussex County, moving here from upstate New York. I have been dismayed as I drive around In Delaware, not just Sussex County, by the scourge of trash, thoughtlessly tossed along the highways.

Is this an image Delaware wants for its residents and tourists?

The placement of unwanted household items and garbage along the back roads is a separate issue (first issue) from the refuse carelessly tossed out car windows or blown from garbage cans and collection areas on windy days (second issue). If the Department of Transportation and DNREC are responsible to police the selfish first issue, then pressure should be brought to bear upon these state agencies for a visible response and plan of action. If there are existing anti-litter laws, then more effort should be made to enforce them.

Concerning the second issue, perhaps a campaign to beautify Delaware, similar to the efforts of Lady Bird Johnson in the '60s, should be enacted. Regularity of the written word combined with local community action can inspire shame and reluctance to uncaringly toss garbage and encourage the development of pride of ownership. Availability of recycling areas should be considered (one in Lewes just closed!).

Establishment of programs for use of persons who are required to do community service can help clean up the existing mess. Furthermore, towns and counties can rethink their acceptance of garish billboards, which add to the ugliness of our roadsides.

As Delawareans discuss the kind of state they want to live in, careful thought should be given to respecting our countryside and natural areas and the land we all share.

Judy Dannes


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