In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reached out to a handful of media outlets to admonish the state’s worst offenders of street littering. Bad news, Long Island, it’s you.
The DOT said that Long Island drivers are the worst litterbugs in the state, with crews spending an inordinate amount of time and manpower cleaning up after their disgusting habit of tossing trash out of the window of their moving cars. In fact, the DOT’s Long Island regional director Joe Brown said in published reports that over the Earth Day weekend, “state crews collected 18 tons of trash from the sides of state roads and parkways.” Keep in mind that number is probably higher when non-state roads and side streets are taken into account.
Now, there are a lot of people on this island and we produce a lot of garbage. So it’s no surprise that some refuse would find its way from our trashcans to the side of the road—but 18 tons over one weekend on state roads alone? Come on, people. Exactly what mental state of mind might one find themselves in to think that it is A-OK to toss garbage from a car? To be that oblivious to the world around you and how sloppy the act of littering makes you look is truly amazing—it might even be inspiring if it weren’t so grossly obnoxious.
And even putting aesthetics aside, littering is a safety hazard and also contributes to the high cost of living on this island. As stated earlier, state workers are picking up that trash. Guess what, they aren’t doing it for free.
Besides citizens running up to litterers and slapping their hands, the only other recourse is to get serious about levying harsh fines upon the slobs of Long Island’s thoroughfares. But that means more state and local police officers on the beat. Police offers who need to get paid with funds from state and local budgets. Budgets that are funded with our taxes.
You know what, never mind.
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