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OUR VIEW: Clean up, signs bring awareness to litter problem

If humans were better at picking up after themselves, we’d never have to worry about litter. Our roadways, roadsides and natural resources would always be clear of trash, and we could just enjoy them without worrying about cups, fast food bags and random items strewn all over the place.

Instead, trash is always an issue, and it remains a problem everywhere. Troup County isn’t immune to it, as most of you know. In this world where no one can seem to agree on anything (thanks politics), litter is a problem where we’re all on the same side — we’re all tired of it and want to come up with a solution to the problem.

Yet, every time someone takes time out of their day to clean up a roadway or neighborhood, the trash accumulates back in record time, making the work seem useless.

The way we see it, Troup County’s litter problem will never go away unless we all commit to picking up trash and change our behaviors.

A great way to help out is to participate in a litter clean up, such as the one the city of LaGrange is holding Friday. Every year the city shuts down half a day for city employees to pick up trash. It’s a great initiative from the city, led by City Manager Meg Kelsey. When the city is leading the way, it shows how serious it is about litter cleanup. City leaders aren’t just saying they want to fix the trash problem — they are literally spending hours putting on gloves and picking up trash.

The county is also promoting signs, which ask people not to be litterbugs and to keep neighborhoods clean. Anyone who wants one can pick one up (or pay a small fee for one after all of the free ones are gone) and put it in their yard to promote clean neighborhoods.

And while we understand the argument that the signs might actually attract litterbugs, we think it’s a worthy effort to raise awareness to the problem. Slogans work. It’s the reason people think of Nike when they read “Just do it” or Wendy’s when they hear “Where’s the beef?”

Maybe Troup County residents will start thinking “don’t be a litter bug” when they see clean roadways and consider throwing something out their driver’s side window. That’s the hope.

All it takes is a few people to create major change in our community. We encourage you to do your part to help Troup County’s litter problem. It’s an issue that impacts all of us, and it’s going to take all of us to solve it.