No More Garbage

By Sean Boyd

An old bicycle. The back seat of a car. A computer monitor. Do these items sound like the kind of things you would find along the roads of a rural neighborhood? It might not. But in some neighborhoods these are just lying in the woods. Having laws and fines for littering just arenít enough.

The reason people dump items in the woods here in my neighborhood is because itís remote and they wonít be seen. One idea of mine is that there should be surveillance cameras on telephone poles along unpopulated stretches of rural neighborhood roads to see if people are dumping garbage. The surveillances cameras would be there because you couldnít know otherwise if people were littering. I once saw a car, empty, on the side of the road, and I wondered if they were dumping garbage somewhere. Garbage seems to just appear in the woods. If there were surveillance cameras you would be able to rewind the tape and see if people were littering. If you saw fresh garbage in the woods, you could find the perpetrator on tape. A computer could rewind to anywhere very quickly. Nobody has to watch the tape all the time. The surveillance cameras would be solar powered, so it would work by itself. People wouldnít be able to see them either, because the surveillance cameras would blend in with the trees, and besides, people wouldnít be looking for them.

Another idea is that there should be more police patrols in rural areas to enforce garbage dumping laws and fines. There should be more police patrols in rural areas, because, right now, there arenít enough, and too many people litter because of no law enforcement. The police patrols would patrol the streets, so they can catch people and stop them from littering, and write tickets to people who did. There is a fine for $300 dollars here in Carbon County for littering. If there were more signs for fining, people would think twice before littering. It seems people are dumping their oversized garbage objects because there are no houses and therefore no residents to see the dumping. Houses seem to discourage dumping in our neighborhood. Also, there should be a large reward for residents to turn other people in for littering.

For some people, though, it costs too much for them to bring oversized objects - like couches - to a dump, so they dump these items in the woods. The landfill people should lower the cost on bringing in these oversized items, or have a day where the price is half off. It will make people not litter as much. As if it couldnít get worse, it also costs extra for other things like electronics, such as TVs and batteries to go to the landfill. There should be alternative ways to have electronics thrown away at a cheaper price. If there is no alternative way, then they should lower the prices on electronics going to the landfill. For some people none of this is a problem, and they are just too lazy to bring things to the dump. Also, once they get away with it once, itís easier on their conscience to do it again.

Surveillance cameras would work really well, not costing much, and with little maintenance. The cameras wouldnít invade privacy, because they would only be on stretches of remote road. There isnít enough enforcement of littering fines either, and it would help immensely if this were addressed. But, if you wanted to improve the root of the problem, there should be better rates at the dump. If all of these things are put to use, there would definitely be less waste along the roads.