Remember Michael Merta, whose anti-litter letter was published here three weeks ago? He’s mustered some support and is now – with one local leader’s encouragement – inviting you to join in a cleanup, among other things. Here’s his update:
About three weeks ago I wrote an open letter about the worsening problem of litter in the Seattle area. I’ve received many responses to that letter from other concerned citizens since then. I have still not heard back from any of the city, county, or WSDOT officials that I complained to, about their plans if any, to deal with the problem.
I have been contacted by King County Councilman Joe McDermott’s office, and they have asked me to organize a cleanup through the Facebook page that I created around this issue.
The Councilman’s office has contacted Waste Management to provide support, tools, and supplies for the effort, and we are tentatively planning it for Saturday March 5th between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please see the Facebook page for further details, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is unclear to me, and it is also unclear to officials in Councilman McDermott’s office, just who is responsible for routine litter patrol, and in which areas of town. There may be areas where indeed, no agency is currently responsible. Since I first complained about this to the various agencies, there has been no litter removed from the sites I’ve identified. It seems as if our local government does not have the resources, or has not allocated the resources to solve this problem, so we as citizens need to figure something out here.
Obviously, one cleanup event cannot solve this problem. In my opinion, it’s going to take a comprehensive effort involving frequent citizen cleanups, state and local government organized cleanups, increased fines, and increased code enforcement. A kind of full-on campaign, we could call it “Keep Seattle Beautiful.” I’d like some help with getting such a campaign started. We could all start by writing about our concerns to our local politicians. mayormcginn.seattle.gov, Dow.Constantine@kingcounty.gov
In a city that prides itself on being “green” and environmentally friendly, it seems we have allowed plain old litter to make a comeback. Today, as I was driving across the First Avenue bridge (one of the areas I first complained about) I noticed someone decided to drop off an old couch on the side of the road (see photo above). Funny thing about litter, you leave it there and it seems to multiply.
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