Davis, N.C.

Nov. 28, 2017

TO THE EDITOR:

On Monday the Sierra Club and the North Carolina Coastal Federation organized a trash cleanup at Ward Creek. The 30 or so volunteers, from all around Carteret County, picked up two dump trailer loads of trash from along the road and the edge of the creek.

The volunteers picked up hundreds of glass bottles, hundreds of aluminum cans, hundreds of plastic bottles, other plastic of all sorts, a pile of asphalt shingles, many hundreds of cigarette butts, bags of degraded styrofoam, and all sorts of other trash.

An aluminum can takes 100 years to degrade, a plastic bottle 450 years. Microplastics are microscopic pieces of decomposed plastic, now found in the tissues of most seafood that we ingest when we eat seafood. Plastic bags and straws injure many marine animals. A cigarette butt is toxic to fish and animals and can take 10 years to degrade. This trash does not go away when we throw it out the window.

Our county waste disposal system is convenient, open nearly all the time, and will take anything. Why would anyone dump a pile of asphalt shingles, or any trash, at the edge of Ward Creek?

We live in a spectacularly beautiful place, and plastic trash, especially, is a danger to all sorts of fish and marine animals, both reasons enough to stop littering our Down East. In an area that relies so much on the health of the sea for the livelihoods of our friends and families, we should be ever more careful.

And to the guy in the truck who saw us working and intentionally threw out a soda cup, “Does your mommy still clean up your messes?”

PAUL AUSTIN

(6) comments

NC-Native-Son

White trash.

morehood city res

it's an epidemic of laziness, lack of concern and irresponsibility. if you don't care about your surroundings what do you care about? i imagine mostly your useless self.

David Collins

It has been my observation over the years that the local good old boys are the worst offenders. Example, want to dump your trash, place it in the back of your pickup with the tailgate down. Hit the road, find a curve, attack it with a good head of steam and the trash will magically disappear. Job done.

JusticeForAll

[sad]

DeadBolt

Complacency , ie: there was a time not to long ago when plastics were not around, you need not look at ancient history to figure this out, however in all our wisdom, and knowledge, we took the cheap road , because, prior to this most locals were fine stewards , and actually got paid for returning glass bottles. This was encouragement for people to clean it up, now, however with 'fee's' on the majority for a growing issue, it would appear we took the path of least resistance.

The cheap comes out expensive i think is the phrase?

ps........ this is not limited to trash, most locals owned 'undeveloped' tracts of land, and for various reasons they sold them off over the years, and if you couple this with a population explosion nationwide, yea, its going to be a large issue.

David Collins

Out here in the woods we incinerate all burnables. Something about a 1200 degree flame that returns most stuff to it’s natural state. Never have liked the landfill idea because it hides a multitude of sins and hangs around forever. I like ashes to ashes, dust to dust and all that. Non burnables are recycled, I hope. Realize that recycling is not cost neutral but hope that to be sure it will not turn out to be another scam.

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