May 10 editorial
Whether you are a mountain biker, a horseback rider or a hiker, whether you travel by SUV or ATV, you can and should pitch in during this month’s city and county clean-up days.
At this time of year, city and county trails and roadway shoulders reveal more about our culture than any future archeologist ever needs to know: from discarded bottles and plastic shopping bags to CO2 cartridges and diapers. It is at best, embarrassing — at worst, dangerous.
Saturday, with help from Recycle Utah, volunteers will make a social event out of picking up litter. Groups will fan out from City Park at 9 a.m. to beautify the city. They will return at noon for lunch and perhaps some show-and-tell of what they found. Then, during the week, citizens will get a little help tidying up their own property thanks to a fleet of free Dumpsters that will be placed in strategic spots around town.
There will be no free dumpsters in the county this year, but local communities are encouraged to organize their own neighborhood clean-up projects. Those could be as elaborate as the high school effort also planned for Saturday to amass 200 volunteers to clean up the shoulders along Interstate 80, or as simple as a couple of kids and a garbage bag along the two-lane roads on the East Side.
The Summit County Recycling Task Force is asking residents to "adopt a county road" on Saturday. Drinks, food and cleaning supplies will be available at 8:30 a.m. at the Henefer Town Park, at the Oakley School in Weber Canyon, and at Park City Park near the Miners Hospital.
Everyone who uses local trails or likes to take a weekend drive in the country has a stake in helping to clean up the county. Litter tends to invite more litter and gives passersby the impression that disposing of cans and trash on the roadside is acceptable.
A note of caution, though wear highly visible clothing, reflective if possible, when picking up litter along a highway. And encourage kids especially to wear gloves and look before they grab. In past years, volunteers have collected syringes and other possibly contaminated trash.
Take a few minutes today to ‘celebrate’ clean-up day and then throughout the summer make it a habit to pick up a can or wrapper as part of your travels.
Anita Lewis, Brent Ovard and Travis English were influential in shaping how residents interact with the county.