Opinion

Everything Bremerton: Let's talk about litter, baby

As the lush foliage and green grasses die down for the coming winter, it is hard not to notice the gross amount of litter and garbage that line our roadways, parks and neighborhood streets.

This includes everything from plastic bags and food wrappers to my most personally hated item, the cigarette butt. This year we also have campaign signs to deal with, as well. After Nov. 2, these signs become litter and need to be removed immediately. Candidates, you are responsible for your sign removals.

Some people seem to think that throwing anything food related out their car window or on the ground is OK. It is so not OK. Having my car pelted with sunflower seeds, peanut shells and pretty much any item with someone else’s spittle on it is disgusting. I don’t want to step on your fruit peelings or splash in the cold leftover coffee puddle you made when you leaned out of your car to pour it onto the ground in the parking spot next to my car.

If I see you litter I will turn you in. Washington state has a wonderful litter hotline (1-866-LITTER-1, or 1-866-548-8371) set up where you can call and provide the date, time, location, object thrown, description of the vehicle and driver and the license plate number. As a commuter I use this number all the time. Even better are the times when someone driving a company vehicle decides to disrespect all of us with their litter. Nothing like having a full blown billboard in front or beside you with all the contact information you need to really make that person pay more attention in the future. I have contacted several companies about employees littering. Each time they were very nice and very appreciative that I had brought the situation to their attention.

Of course some people may consider turning people in for littering as the worst form of tattling. Well, maybe it is. Sometimes ensuring that the laws of our community are upheld earns you a little “do gooder” ridicule from those who really don’t care. That’s fine. I can take it and so can you.

Let’s make our roadways, streets, parks and neighborhoods cleaner places for everyone. If you see some litter, pick it up even when it is not yours. If you see someone litter, turn them in. If you go to the park or for a walk, take an extra bag with you and pick up what you see along your route. It is simple. It is easy and it shows respect and care for the communities in which we live, work and play.

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