OUR VIEW: Don’t be a litterbug, make our community a better place to live

Published 11:30 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

Of all the topics we’ve written about in this editorial space over the years, we’re not sure any has been discussed more than trash.

It’s a topic that hasn’t gone away, isn’t going anywhere, and will undoubtedly be a topic for the rest of time.

The Troup County Commission again discussed litter on Tuesday after the topic came up in public comment.

And like every other discussion had not only here in Troup County, but seemingly everywhere, the discussion involved a lot of questions but not a lot of answers.

It doesn’t just feel like an uphill battle — it is an uphill battle.

Even if the county had a crew pick up trash in the county once a week, we’re guessing there’d still be more trash to pick up the next week.

Many in the community, understandably, are concerned that people driving through Troup County might see trash piled up beside the highway and wonder why anyone would want to live here. 

But the way litter piles up, that spot could’ve been cleaned only a few days before.

It’s a sad situation, one that local governments end up trying to solve, but the government in itself isn’t really the problem. It’s a people problem. A societal one.

We’ll never understand why people roll down their windows and toss trash out the window, making our world a trashier place to live.

We’ll never understand why someone at a park doesn’t pick up behind themselves and throw away whatever they were eating or drinking.

But the truth is that those are the real issues.

How do we break people of that habit? The obvious answer is more stringent policing, but it’s unlikely that someone will litter in front of law enforcement.

How do we change our way of thinking about litter?

Do we need to reinforce that littering is bad even more when children are young? We don’t know the answer. 

What we do know is that we’re sure we’re going to still be talking about it next week.