Every weekday morning, I drive on Borton Landing, Westfield, Tom Brown and Riverton roads to get to work at Westfield Friends School. I am saddened by the amount of trash along the roads. On the weekends, I sometimes park at the Swedes Run dog park and fill a trash bag as I walk. On weekdays, I will take a short walk along Borton Landing to pick up the trash. When I walk into Wegmans or any store, I pick up trash and put it in the very convenient trash cans. But I am just one person.
I know that some trash blows out of trucks. But other trash comes from people tossing their water bottles, Chick-fil-A bags and beer cans from their cars. One day, I picked up six plastic Fireball bottles spaced along the road as though someone was chugging one down and dropping it as they went. Once there were similarly spaced Jell-O cups. McDonald’s cups get dropped where the sidewalk ends close to the high school–as though someone on their way to school just couldn’t bother to carry their empty cup to a trash can. Every weekday sometime between 8:15 a.m. and noon someone drops McDonald’s coffee cups off the bridge that crosses Swedes Run by Sheffield. Whoever you are, please stop.
My request is that we take care of our shared spaces. Talk at dinner with your family about trash; adopt a local roadway to take care of. If we pick up the trash currently on our roadways (and parking lots), it will discourage others from treating our roadways like trash dumps. Picking up trash, holding the door for someone, saying thank you, being patient with the slow driver in front of you – these are all a part of basic human civility.
Together we can do better.