Plans to attack the litter problem

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 9, 2014

By Will Sullivan

Picayune Item 

In recent weeks, trash cans have been popping up along West Canal and in other locations around Picayune, all part of the city’s attack on the litter problem.

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Hopefully, more such trash cans will begin to appear all over town. These cans are tasteful in appearance. Some are 55-gallon drums painted a shiny black and are lettered to identify them as being in the historic part of town. Others are trash cans contained in these slatted metal containers that are commonly used for trash receptacles in other towns and cities.

As I suggested earlier, this is a start, a good one. There are some 55-gallon drums spotted along the Goodyear Boulevard walking trail. They could be made to look a little better, but they are there. Still, more receptacles need to be placed around town to tempt would be litterers to place their trash in the can rather than on the ground.

Unfortunately, even in the areas where the cans are located, some people are too lazy to take a few extra steps to place their litter in the trash cans. Hopefully, any grace period these litterers have been enjoying is over and the law will begin being enforced.

I personally favor the harshest possible enforcement because there is no way these people don’t know better. All our lives we have heard the refrain, “Don’t be a litterbug,” but these offenders refuse to quit their trashy ways.

One thing I have noticed about these new trash receptacles that might need changing to make them more eye-catching. They are painted a nice, shiny black. This can allow them to blend into the background. I’m not suggesting that the cans be painted in some garish manner to make them stand out. That really doesn’t make the town look more welcoming.

For thinking purposes, let me toss out an idea. Paint the cans a bright green – but not a garish bright green. Against that background, paint some interesting historic scene such as those incorporated in the Main Street Picayune Christmas ornaments. Or how about a large tree such as one of our magnificent live oaks or some of the beautiful native plants that grow at Crosby Arboretum, blue flag iris, a bog scene that includes the beautiful pale yellow blooms of a mass of pitcher plants, some pine lilies or some of the beautiful, native, honeysuckle azaleas. There are so many such flowering plants. Just recently I saw out there some mountain laurel in bloom. No, we are not mountainous, but the mountain laurel is native here along our streams. So is the Texas star hibiscus and so many more.

To do the painting, we might enlist the aid of the local arts league and/or the students in our high school art classes.

There are so many ways we can improve the beauty of our city with these trash receptacles, besides just collecting trash that might otherwise litter our sidewalks, streets, lawns, flower beds and so on.