Letter – Address town’s litter problem

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

As a concerned resident of Smithfield, I feel compelled to address the alarming issue of litter that plagues our beautiful town and tarnishes its reputation. 

The sight of trash strewn across our roadways and filling our ditches has become all too common, and it’s time we take action to restore the cleanliness and beauty of our community.

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Driving through Smithfield has become a disheartening experience, as the once-picturesque scenery is marred by the presence of litter. The roadway ditches, instead of being filled with natural flora, are overflowing with discarded bottles, wrappers and various debris. This not only detracts from the aesthetic appeal of our town but poses environmental hazards and health risks to both humans and wildlife.

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of following a trash collector truck that carelessly allowed its contents to fly off and scatter across the road. The negligence displayed by such actions is not only irresponsible but contributes significantly to the proliferation of litter in our community.

Furthermore, the presence of litter reflects poorly on the image of Virginia as a whole. It’s embarrassing to bring friends and visitors from out of state, only to have them remark on the unsightly appearance of our roadsides and ditches. Instead of showcasing the natural beauty and charm that Virginia is renowned for, we are inadvertently presenting a disorganized and unkempt image.

It’s imperative that we come together as a community to address this pressing issue. Education and awareness campaigns can help instill a sense of responsibility among residents, emphasizing the importance of proper waste disposal and the detrimental effects of littering. Additionally, stricter enforcement of littering laws and penalties for offenders can serve as deterrents and encourage compliance.

Local authorities and organizations also have a crucial role to play in combating litter. Increased efforts in regular roadside cleanup initiatives and the implementation of effective waste management strategies are essential steps towards mitigating the problem. Additionally, collaborating with businesses and waste management companies to ensure secure containment and transportation of trash can help prevent incidents like the one I witnessed with the trash collector truck.

By taking proactive measures to address the issue of litter, we can preserve and enhance the quality of life for current and future generations, while also presenting a positive image of Virginia to the rest of the world.


Mitchell Simmons