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Week 20 – Does it truly hurt when you litter?

February 22, 2009

Washington State enacted tough anti-litter laws and unveiled their “Litter and it will hurt” campaign in 2002. Today Lori and I are disgusted with the litter10littered state of our highways and green places. Interstate-5 between Tacoma and Seattle looks like a junkyard, it’s quite sad.

We realize that our state is in the middle of a huge budget deficit but can’t we find a way to motivate people and utilize community service crews to eradicate the mess left behind by others?

I could only find Washington State Department of Ecology statistics for 2007.  Based on these numbers (6,283,710 pounds of litter picked up), I know our tax dollars are making a difference.  But I wonder if in addition to the hefty fines dealt out to litterers, maybe we could also impose mandatory community service as well? Make those who are caught throwing garbage from their cars pay the fine but also put in some time cleaning up after other slobs.

Lori, Abby, and yours truly revisited a beautiful stretch of roadway on Hartstene Island this morning and were dismayed to fill our buckets within 10 minutes. Beer bottles (mostly Corona for some reason), fast food wrappers and bags, and a puzzling number of condoms littered the area we cleaned in Week 7.

We continue to happily improve the environment and hope others will do the same.

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