Saturday, October 25, 2014

Don’t Mess With… Baytown?

 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.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Marshall,

Your article in today’s Baytown Sun, Friday, October 24, 2014, page 4A, “Don’t Mess …Baytown”, was dead on about disposing unwanted consumables on grounds instead of using marked receptacles designated for such articles. I believe that it doesn’t take any more time or inconvenience to a person to put bottles, cans and food wrappers where they should go.

Do you recall seeing a television commercial, featuring a Native American in colorful dress looking over the landscape, thinking about the land he knew

Before, and now how the land looks strewn with litter. You can see a tears in his eyes as he sees what has happened. I found this commercial

The impact it had on me, when I was young, to put trash in the trash can, and remind those around me to do so is ongoing.

I was raised in Barbers Hill, when I finished high school, my family sold our place, and we moved to Baytown. I then became a Baytonian, ( I do not

Think I spelled that right), and proud of it. I like reading the Baytown Sun every day that it is published, and reading your column.

If need be I will take up bag in hand, and help clean up the land, I have plenty of time since military retirement, and staying active working toward a good cause keeping Baytown a place where we can say “you don’t mess with Baytown, Texas”.

Sincerely, Donald L. Wright


Anonymous said...

Sandi White: Articles like these are what make you such a good citizen, Bert. Not only do you see these things and make note of them, you actually Bend Over and deal with problem physically! It's one thing to stand on the sidelines and holler "Foul!". It's quite another when you put your money where your mouth is and lead by example. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Barb Wooster: Bert, I'm on your side.

Anonymous said...

Steve wrote: "The Photo club does a great job servicing their pick up obligations for sure. The problem as I see it from where their area is on Tri-Cities Beach road is a massive amount of litter and junk flies out of some of the boats going home right after a fishing or boating trip. It easy to miss this litter and most boaters do not want to litter in the bay so into a pile in the boat it usually goes and after being tired and sun beat forget to check when getting on the road! Then too it is somewhat isolated and idiots often drive right past the dump on Main and instead head down there. Great article Bert Marshall
. One other thing I notice is when I see someone step out just a little to pick trash up that act impacts others positively, so I make it a point to do it in front of others whenever I get the chance. THANKS"

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