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Keep It Clean

August 30, 2016
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Do you remember the American Indian sitting on his horse, and a solitary tear coming down his cheek.

Do you remember Woodsy Owl hooting "Give a hoot -- don't pollute!"?

I think about these things while driving back into town from the tree dump. There are always plastic bags in among the branches. If people really value having a place to take their environmental waste, they need to keep it clean.

The American Indian crying was featured in television commercials sponsored by Keep America Beautiful.

Keep America Beautiful focuses on three key issues: litter prevention, waste reduction/recycling, and community greening and beautification. This is accomplished through a combination of community organizing, public education and the fostering of public/private partnerships.

Woodsy Owl is an owl icon for the United States Forest Service most famous for the motto "Give a hoot - don't pollute!". His current motto is "Lend a hand - care for the land!"

While looking at Wikipedia on these two icons, I happened on a site called

This site is a place to report littering: litter; dump trash; junk trash; waste trash.

People who post on this site give the address of the incident; a description (from as "insignificant" as a cigarette to a large brown fast good bag thrown out a window); the make of the vehicle and license plate; the time of the incident; and the time the incident was posted on the website.

For example in Rhode Island a person threw a chips package out the window while sitting at a light.

In Michigan a person threw a water bottle out a window.

In Oklahoma, throwing trash out of car on highway.

In the state of Washington, threw a live cigarette out the window.

In Colorado, multiple food wrappers thrown from car.

In Minnesota, a person threw a full bag of trash in the ditch, the bag included mail for a person (whose name was mentioned in the post).

On the Iowa tab, there were no incidents reported from Emmetsburg, but there were from Algona and Estherville.

Shopko opened its doors to the public over the weekend. In the middle of training new employees, the Shopko crew was walking through downtown Emmetsburg picking up trash. They had bags of trash.

Chamber Director Deb Hite regularly reminds business owners to pick up trash outside their doors.

Take a tour around town and look at the amount of trash around businesses and homes, in the ditches coming into and leaving Emmetsburg, in the gutters and in the corners. There are a lot of pop cans out there, too.

People, we can do better. We do not need to live with trash everywhere. We can bend over and pick up trash when we see it. Better yet, we can throw it away in trash receptacles instead of pitching it out the window and letting it go with the wind. We need to continue teaching our children to care for the land where we live, work and play.



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