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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Ocklawaha resident discusses adopting rural roadway to combat littering issue

To the Editor:

I’m encouraged to see all the letters about the trashy state of the roadways in Marion County and know that I’m not the only one that is disgusted by the problem. I adopted 1.5 miles of rural roadway near my house in 2019 and I pick up litter twice a week, week after week, gathering between four to six full bags each week.

On February 5, my haul included a tire that some jerk thoughtfully ditched on the right-of-way. Adding insult to injury, this section of road was just repaved and I noticed many more water bottles (all the same brand), lunch wrappers, and disposable coffee cups than usual; and believe me, I am very familiar with litter patterns on this stretch. It’s obvious this added trash came from the road project workers. Finally, when school is in session, I also notice an abundance of pages from kids’ workbooks, juice boxes, snack bar wrappers, and lots of sandwich-sized Ziploc bags. Guess these kids are learning well from their parents.

The solution to my disgust and outrage was to adopt a section of roadway and pick up my neighbor’s trash. The ‘secure your load or secure a fine’ and ‘put litter in its place’ slogans sound nice but are not effective here. The county’s budget for sending out crews to pick up these disrespectful litterer’s trash is a disrespectful use of my property tax dollars.

County commissioners, officials, and sheriff’s office deputies need to get serious about this issue. It’s 2022 folks, not 1950. Education might be effective for kids still in school, but heavy fines would help change the behavior of the rest of these scofflaws.

Carolyn Walker
Ocklawaha resident

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