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The Sad Story of July 5 and Litter in the Park

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The Sad Story of July 5 and Litter in the Park

I live in this beautiful town called Fountain Hills. You can see in the picture why it’s called that. This is just before sunrise early this morning. But this is only the  tip of the beauty iceberg. The point is, this place is awesome. Wouldn’t you think everyone would want to keep it that way?  The sad story of July 5 would say that the answer is “no.”

Here’s why I say that

The Sad Story of July 5

The town traditionally puts on a Fourth of July fireworks celebration at Fountain Park. People come from all over to enjoy it and the park is packed with people. I don’t go because my dog freaks out and I don’t dare leave him alone. Last night someone close by must have popped some firecrackers or something loud and he was so frightened he started hyperventilating. The pictures, though, on the town’s Facebook page show beautiful  fireworks and my kids tell me it was wonderful.

When I arrived  this morning, the Parks and Rec. employees were out picking up the litter. It wasn’t as awful as I’ve seen before in other towns, but the point is, there shouldn’t be ANY.  As I walked around the fountain with Smarty we saw liter soda bottles, water bottles, fono litteringod bags, occasional small piles of food, and paper cups of all kinds. Smarty snagged a full sized piece of red licorice which I grabbed before he ate it. There was even a shirt and later a broken flip flop. You could see litter in every direction. The park employee told me there would be a lot of people assigned to help clean up. We blamed it on people who came from other towns.

I took pictures but they didn’t turn out to be good enough to post. Just as well. You all know what litter looks like.

It isn’t that there’s no place to put the trash. There are trash and recycling receptacles within easy walking distance from anywhere in the park.  There are also bags for dog waste, and they aren’t always used, either.

Cleaning up after yourself is part of being a responsible adult. Cleaning up after yourself in a public place is part of being a good citizen. It is an act of being considerate of those people who live in your town or of those who come to visit. It is an act of taking care of our town and our planet. It is how adults are supposed to behave. And if you don’t pick up your trash, your children probably won’t pick up theirs.

Some say that a cluttered (translate from “littered”) environment is a sign of a cluttered mind. Think about it if you on a self improvement track.

If you complain about paying taxes in your town, wake up and smell the coffee. If they didn’t have to clean up after everyone who threw  their trash on the ground and left it there, the town wouldn’t need to hire people to do it. The town could find a better use of the tax money and perhaps taxes could even decrease. So, if you are a litterer, you have no right to complain about taxes, other people’s litter, etc.

What would your house look like if you treated it like you treat the park? (Don’t answer that.  I really don’t want to know).

The point is, it’s time to take responsibility for keeping public spaces clean and litter-free. If you dropped it, pick it up. Throw it away.

I don’t even want to think about what Central Park looked like.

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About Anas Alaoui

Anas Alaoui

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