Sounding off: Reducing litter, keeping America beautiful

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Trib Live -Regarding the article “Study: Pa. roads average 1,030 litter items per mile”: I have done my best to keep a stretch of rural road near my home free of litter. I pick up beer and pop cans, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, and bags from convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.

Trash along the back roads increases when school is in session. Garage sale signs go up but don’t come down. Push-in wire signs are everywhere, but are illegal on public property.

PennDOT spends $13 million a year on litter cleanup, and Pittsburgh spends $3 million. That is taxpayer money that could be put to better use.

What can we do? Here are some ideas:

• Educate children about recycling and litter.

• Make sure your vehicles have receptacles for trash, and use them.

• Be sure your trash is in a can. Night scavengers love to rip into plastic bags.

• If you smoke, use an ashtray.

• Put up “$300 littering fine” signs in key locations, and give out citations. Word gets around fast.

• Take down your garage sale signs after your sale. If it’s there a week later, consider it litter and subject to a fine.

• Keep your property litter-free. You may not have put it there, but it’s yours now.

• Local businesses that help to fuel litter (fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations) should sponsor litter-collecting teams on designated stretches of road.

• If you walk, carry a bag and pick up trash.

A clean environment benefits everyone. Keep America beautiful; don’t be a litterbug.

Howard Gordon, Lower Burrell

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