Commentary – Litterbugs not welcome

Katrina Owens

Littering might not seem like a huge issue to some, considering the recent terrorist attacks and political problems happening around the world as of late. However, here in a small town such as Slave Lake, I think littering has a huge impact on our community.

Firstly, I believe it goes without saying it is disgusting, no one (including myself) wants to walk by food wrappers, beer cans, cigarette butts and whatever else that’s been tossed onto the ground on a daily basis. This really grinds my gears! Did we not just do an entire community cleanup?
It’s sad to say that despite our best efforts, people just seem to be missing the garbage and recycling cans.

Secondly, it’s an all-around eye sore and for visitors to the area it doesn’t make an awfully good first impression. Who wants to see loads of garbage lining the sides of roads? Not many I imagine. For people that aren’t from here, an assumption that the community simply doesn’t care about what their town looks like could probably be made and possibly already has.

Thirdly, littering does have an extremely bad impact on the wildlife and environment. I think it goes without saying animals will get themselves into quite the pickle without meaning to if they smell food. If it’s not getting their head caught in a drink container or getting a plastic wrapper caught around their neck, the chances of ingesting something toxic are certainly more likely to happen.

I was at a Town council meeting recently and one of the topics on the agenda was how the grads had cleaned up the recycling centre. As it so happens, the work was really all for nothing because within a few days litterbugs were back at it dumping stuff off. It’s frustrating to say the least; seeing people trying to do the right thing and it not doing any good. I guess there will always be a select group who don’t think the rules apply to them or think that a little litter here and there doesn’t matter – but it does, because a can there and a wrapper here does indeed add up.
I think everyone who participated in the 2017 community cleanup can attest to that!

And it’s not just plastic being carelessly thrown out, it is glass and it’s in playgrounds. A concerned mama-bear sent The Leader a picture a few weeks back that showed shards of broken glass mixed into the sand and on the playground structure.

Enough about the mischief-makers because though there are plenty of them, there are also plenty of good-hearted people in the community trying their best to make do with this ongoing issue.

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