Trashing a filthy habit

By: Annalee Grant
Reporter, Cranbrook Daily Townsman

It’s going! It’s finally going, fellow Kootenay dwellers! I am of course talking about the white stuff – the snow – which is now turning brownish and dirty as it retreats from our local roadways.

As the snow pulls back from the highway it is revealing a winter’s worth of trash; oil jugs, bottles, candy wrappers, cardboard – and perhaps most disappointingly, beer cans.

What gives, motorists? Do you believe that tossing your trash out the window in the winter makes it go away? That the snow we enjoyed throughout the winter will pull it all away and dispose of it – perhaps eat it for a last bit of sustenance before it gives way to summer?

Well it doesn’t, and Hwy 95A looks embarrassing right now, and I have no idea what other roads look like, but I fear they are the same. We should be collectively ashamed of dirtying up the area we call home, because there are alternatives to firing your junk out the window.

You could do what I do – horde it in your car until a passenger complains enough to make you toss it all away (not recommended, and a character trait I’m trying to get rid of). Or you could simply drop it in the next trash receptacle you see, possibly at your destination. It’s a very real possibility that whether you’re driving to Kimberley or Cranbrook on 95A, once you arrive in town, you are never further than 100 metres away from a garbage can at any given time.

Why are so many recyclables hitting our ditches? That hunk of plastic or aluminum is worth a nickel! Would you drive along the highway shucking nickels out if you had a sack full? I know I wouldn’t, and if you have the riches at your disposal to be comfortably projecting money out the window like trash, you should perhaps be contributing those funds to charity. I happen to know of dozens of groups that would happily take those recyclables off your hands. In Kimberley, the local Bavarian Barbarians Roller Derby team will even come to your door. In both communities, there’s minor hockey and other sports teams, Cadets, etc.

And another point – why do I see so many beer cans and bottles? I thought it was pretty common knowledge that drinking and driving, as well as having open liquor in a vehicle, is very illegal, not to mention dangerous.

April is Pitch-In month, and from April 23 to 30 Kimberley and Cranbrook will be celebrating it. I remember being forced outside during April in Ontario when I was a kid to pick up garbage for Pitch-In day. No one liked doing it, but no one likes cleaning their room either. As a kid still learning my way in the world, Pitch-In day was a given – because most likely I had at some point in the winter abandoned my fruit leather or Dunkaroo wrapper on the ground (I may have even ditched the fruit leather itself, because I hated those things).

If you are one of the litter bugs who gave no thought to flinging junk out your window, perhaps it’s time you parked your vehicle on the side of the road and retrieved it now that it is so visible. Instead of pitching things out of your vehicle, pitch them back in and do your part.

Originally published here

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