When our esteemed Mayor DonCarlos said Baytown has a litter problem, I took it with a grain of empty plastic water bottle. Its not like I didn’t believe him, I just didn’t think it was the mentality of many people to litter in 2014. Not in Baytown anyway. Didn’t we stop doing that, like, 30 years ago?
Well. Shut the front door; he was right. It’s not like I don’t trust his judgment; I do. Heck, I voted for him as Mayor at least 10 times so far, maybe more now that I think about it. It’s just that until I experienced it first hand, I had no idea it was anything more than stuff blowing out of the back of a pick-em-up truck, or maybe a shopping cart.
I remember when he said it I saw a bunch of trash in the field south of Home Depot and told myself trash and litter was relegated to places like this – and why didn’t the store owners clean it up? I can say this and not be self-righteous and that statement right there stinks of self-righteousness doesn’t it – but it’s true just the same.
This year alone, I’ve participated is 7 trash bashes. The city had a big one at Bergeron Park on the 18th, but I was at an event in Livingston (and yes, we picked up trash) and missed it and the Baytown Photo club has about 4 a year out on Tri-City Beach Road. By the way, I need to attend the next one. Heck, I even went over to Beaumont to attend what Geocachers call a CITO, or Cache In Trash Out event and picked up trash on 2 miles of highway there. So am I being self righteous when I get miffed over tossed garbage?
I can’t say for sure if that giggly happy fellow in the Facebook photos at the Bergeron Park clean-up was Scott Sheley, but it probably was. I didn’t see any donuts though, so maybe not. Picking up other peoples trash is hard work and requires stamina and thus the donuts, kolaches, and of course – Gatorade or some other high-powered salty drink. I’m a BRAWNDO man myself, because it has electrolytes, so an army of trash picker uppers deserve their food.
I’ve come to the conclusion that trashy people with no conscience or ecological awareness are those who unroll their car or truck window and throw out that great big bag of fast food refuse. They might also belong to the same group who chug a bottle of Thunderbird or a half-pint of Old Granny and toss it onto the spanking new Blue Heron Parkway median.
Because I walk it with one or two empty grocery bags and pick up the constant resupply of litter, I know for a certainty that it is NOT the many people texting as they drive that I observe, as they simply don’t have enough hands to toss trash while they mindlessly peck away on their Smartphones that often are as large as a Whataburger samich was 30 years ago.
Until I saw the daily water bottles, food wrappers, beer cans and (gasp) a used condom on the trail around the detention pond at Blue Heron Park and the long trail running behind Chaparral Village, I thought it was only refuse blowing out of cars. Now I know otherwise. What perplexes me the most is that health conscious rational thinking people, walking for exercise, would casually drop their water bottles, only to see them the next day and drop more.
Kathy Nelson is a Board member of Keep Baytown Beautiful and has contacted me. Their mission is to work within our community to strive for excellence in making Baytown a cleaner, brighter place to live and play. I like this and there is hardly a day goes by that I don’t pick up trash in this town, so I fit in with this philosophy real good.
The bottom line is trashy people dump their trash on the ground everywhere they go and those of us that don’t like to live in filth, pick it up. If you are a person who throws everything out the window of your car, please stop it. Thank you.