Opinion: There is a lot we can all do to prevent littering in town

Dear Bristol Residents,
The Bristol Selectboard established a policy of “Pack In and Pack Out” for the Town Parks more than a year ago. This has been a long held practice of the State of Vermont and the Federal government for state and national parks. Most recently the Selectboard voted to remove the dog waste bags and dog waste container from the Town Green.
Despite explicit signage explaining the container was for pet waste only, and stating where people could deposit other waste and recycling, people continued to overflow the container with waste and some pet owners deposited their bags of pet waste on the ground under the container. This forced both a licensed hauler and Town employees to clean up the mess.
The Town does have at least eight combination recycling and trash containers placed around the downtown that a licensed hauler empties every Friday when they pick up their other Bristol clients’ waste. The Selectboard has also asked restaurants on Main Street that have outdoor seating to provide proper trash and recycling containers for their patrons.
There are a lot of things we as a community can do to prevent litter:
• Choose not to litter and lead by example.
• Educate family and friends about not littering.
• Always have available a litter bag in your car.
• If going on an outing, bring along a trash bag.
• If you are a smoker, carry and use a portable or pocket ashtray.
• Take responsibility for your pet and its actions and dispose of pet waste at home.
• Practice the principles of “Leave No Trace” as outlined by The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics https://Int.org/learn/7-principles.
• If you see litter, pick it up.
Thank you,
Therese Kirby
Town Administrator, Bristol

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