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Letters to the Editor: Litterbugs can get a clean start

Having spent hours picking up trash on Green Up Day this past Saturday, I can confidently describe the people who litter our pretty landscape. They eat fast food, drink alcohol and other beverages, and smoke (mostly Marlboros) in their cars and then throw what is left out of their car windows. And for some odd reason, they throw used car tires in the ditches and down the riverbanks.
The litter we picked up was not the kind that accidently gets blown out of an open bed pickup truck. It is done consciously by those who do not care about the consequences of polluting our lands and rivers.
For those of you who do this, I have some general suggestions. First, put yourself in the shoes of those who experience this litter. Would you be OK with others throwing their trash and car tires on your front lawn? OK with walking past poopy baby diapers and empty motor oil cans on your way down to your favorite swimming hole (this and other noxious trash was retrieved at the hole on the corner of Munger and Cove roads). Would you mind it if you stepped on broken beer bottle glass in the river where you cool off in the summer?
Would you want to eat a huge cigarette butt (as some birds and wild animals do) that can poison you? (Note: It takes only a few minutes online to learn about nicotine poisoning and the cancerous chemicals in cigarette butts — and this is no small environmental problem. I picked up 137 cigarette butts in a quarter-mile stretch of River Road.)
Would you like to watch river animals getting entangled and suffocating in the plastic bags that get swept in the rivers?
These and other questions occurred to me as I felt obliged to pick up your trash.
My second general suggestion is to do everything you can to stop this pollution. Put garbage bags in you car, call out others who throw trash from the car, teach your children about the harms of littering and show them by example that littering is unacceptable. Take your used tires to the District Transfer Station, 1223 Route 7 South in Middlebury, for recycling. It takes so very little to stop the destructive and costly practice of littering. Thanks to everyone who tries.
Maggie Eaton
New Haven 

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