I share a recent letter writer’s concern about the amount of litter that mars Beaufort County’s roadways. Just who are these people who deliberately throw their cups and bottles and bags out their car or truck’s window? But, as much as I appreciate the heroic efforts of Adopt-a-Highway volunteers, I don’t think that is a complete solution.
I drive out Middle Road on Lady’s Island every Saturday and see selfless, dedicated teams picking up litter, filling dozens of orange bags. By the time the day is over, new litter is dotting the side of the road. What Sisyphean despair it creates.
Growing up in the Washington, D.C., area in the ’60s, before yearly car inspections were mandatory, there was a program called “Peg a Polluter,” where drivers could report the license plate of a vehicle that was spewing exhaust. Children, in particular, were educated to be vigilant at spotting and reporting polluters. It was consciousness-raising for the whole community.
I suggest that Beaufort County enact a similar-type program called “Litter Alert,” where drivers could submit offenders to a website to assess which vehicles were reported repeatedly. Signs displaying the website could be posted on county roads. It could all be computer-based and analyzed periodically. That information could then be available on yearly vehicle registration forms and stiff fines could be imposed on repeat offenders.
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It’s not a perfect system but just the spectre of being reported might raise enough awareness to inhibit thinking of our beautiful outdoors as a trash can!
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