Hello fellow residents of Wilkes County and beyond. Let’s talk trash, litter and all things messy and ugly. Since I last wrote on this subject, it's my opinion things have just gotten worse, messier and uglier. I will give everyone the fact that these past 12 months have been like no other and all walks of humanity have had to make insanely difficult decisions.
That’s why I’m not going to even attempt to tackle the larger topics of waste and recycling and climate changes that will most likely affect each and every one of us. I'm not going to mention COVID-19 except to wish that everyone get vaccinated and continue following recommended protocols. Those might be interesting and even fun, but definitely need to be put aside right now.
I “simply” want to again breach the topic of roadside litter. I cannot for the life of me understand the reason behind tossing cups, cans, bags, boxes, wrappers and even mattresses and refrigerators on the side of the road. Oh, and add the newest item - face coverings. Maybe I should be happy that the face-mask litterer is wearing a mask even though begrudgingly, but may I ask that not just throw it on the ground after using.
I may be reading into things, but also this past year I noticed an exponential increase in yard signs and flags - especially the American flag. To me, there seems to be a huge contradiction here. On the one hand, people are seemingly more patriotic than ever, but still seem OK with tossing trash on the side of the road and/or parking lot. Things have not changed to the best of my knowledge. A waste receptacle can still be found on both ends of your trip.
As I said the last time I wrote on this subject, I found the bonus of losing weight or maintaining weight just grand. A wonderful sunny and still cool day, a “grabber,” an orange trash bag, possibly a light pair of gloves and off ya’ go. Speaking for myself, I found it better than walking in circles. I must say on that note, I am proud of the ever-expanding walking, hiking and biking trails that Wilkes County has to offer.
It is on the journey to these cherished spots that I am truly and absolutely disgusted by the amount of trash on the side of our byways and highways. All the things that Wilkes County has to offer and none more important and inviting than the natural beauty of our foothills world. It has to be loved and protected.
The state of North Carolina has a named official cleanup time on the calendar. The 2021 Spring Litter Sweep is April 10-24. Trash bags can be picked up at the local DOT and they will come get the bags in a very timely fashion if called. I personally am not going to wait nor am I going to be bound by these dates. The trash I accumulate on all my trips can hang out in my truck until I get home or I get to the trashcan waiting for me at the grocery store or filling station. Let’s keep it clean if for no other reason than to make our daily trips here and there more visually pleasant.
UWE EHRLICH ,
Moravian Falls, N.C.