04/20/07 — Clean it up now: Trash by the roadsides, messy yards, rundown areas no draw

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Clean it up now: Trash by the roadsides, messy yards, rundown areas no draw

April seems to be the month when a homeowner’s thoughts turn to making his or her home and grounds more beautiful.

At least in some cases.

Now, some local towns are doing the same — as many of them announce their annual spring cleanup drives.

And even though it seems like another community project — this sort of exercise is important to this area’s future growth.

Travel the roadways in North Carolina and you will be struck by just how many times you see trash of all kinds lining the highways and backroads. And even if you aren’t Carolina born and bred, the messiness should make you mad. Irresponsible behavior like that mars the look of the community in which we all live.

And minor trash is not all you will see in some areas.

There is a big problem with illegal dumping in this county. In some areas, there will be discarded furniture and other items simply abandoned in a field or roadside area that is hidden from view.

All of the trash and garbage is too much for most communities to police, clean up and investigate without some help from neighbors and those who happen to witness a dumping crime.

Those who toss trash are criminals — and should be made to pay not only for the cleanup time, but a hefty fine as well.

And if it is businesses that are responsible for some of the materials that have fallen off trucks and landed along the highways — they, too, should be given a significant penalty to make sure their mess is cleaned up.

Consider the highways and residential areas of Wayne County as a job interview of sorts. If you were trying to get an employer to take a look at your resume, you would make sure it was typed neatly and that it represented the quality of the skills you have to offer.

The same is true for the county.

A business looking to locate here or a potential new resident is evaluating what is on this county’s resume — is it clean, pleasant to live in and growing and developing.

What does a trash-lined highway say?

Over the next few weeks many communities will have cleanup campaigns. Taking the time to participate — or simply cleaning up your own neighborhood — is a good way to be part of making this community a viable contender in the battle for business and residential investment. And that is the kind of work that ends up making everyone — including private citizens — more money in the long run.

Published in Editorials on April 20, 2007 11:11 AM