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HONESDALE, PA — Some say that many of us deal with accumulating roadside trash in the same way a frog sitting in water slowly brought to a boil does: It does not appreciate its peril and is eventually consumed by it. Well, the water is getting hotter, and local officials are starting to talk about it.
Wayne County Commissioners’ Chair Brian Smith brought a group of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) anti-littering posters to last week’s meeting and arranged them in front of the commissioners’ dais.
Smith said the littered appearance of the county’s roadsides after the winter’s snow melted reminded him of the 1971 public service announcement featuring a Native American crying at the sight of accumulated litter. He said he’s seeing more litter and the public needs a reminder.
“It’s a disgrace, and I don’t know why it’s happening. The schools are teaching recycling… the kids are being taught.”
Later that same day, May 2, the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) heard Town of Highland delegate, former supervisor Andrew Boyar, spoke to the problem.
Boyar recalled his amazement at recently seeing litter collectors drag a camp table, emblazoned with the American flag, from the brush at the parking lot of the NY Department of Environmental Conservation’s Delaware River fishing access near Cedar Rapids. He said this was not an isolated problem. “I’m appalled at how filthy [NY State] Route 97 looks.
“This is not the Hudson. I wonder if we can’t do better. People don’t want to recreate in a litter-ridden environment. Can’t we help coordinate groups and get people thinking about it?” he asked.
UDC chair Harold Roeder was sympathetic, but felt that programs like that “have to be the responsibility of the municipality.”
PennDOT supports community cleanup programs, providing bags, gloves and safety vests. The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau plans a big program, “Pickup the Poconos,” in September. “I’m proud of those people who do pickups,” Smith said.
Sullivan County’s annual Litter Pluck began in late April and runs through Sunday, May 31. Sullivan is waiving the waste disposal fee for roadside litter-plucked bags, through the County’s Parks, Recreation and Beautification Department and the Division of Public Works.
Those who wish to participate in the Sullivan’s Litter Pluck may pick up free labeling stickers that adhere to clear garbage bags to identify the bag as roadside litter either at their town hall or a county-operated transfer station. While no coupons are required, all roadside litter-plucked refuse must be placed in clear bags and an event sticker adhered to the bag. Participants will be asked to register at a county-operated transfer station at the time of disposal.
Lumberland’s annual rubbish cleanup day program is to take place at the highway garage from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on May 11.
Highland set its annual town rubbish collection day on May 18, either at the completed new highway barn, or, if construction is not complete, at the senior citizens’ center.