It happens every spring, the snow melts and the landscape is a portrait of emerging ditch wildflowers surrounding by an abundance of fast food bags, beverage cans and unwanted household furniture and appliances.
If you think you’ve been seeing more roadside trash lately, it’s not just you. Several residents have reported seeing more litter lining roadways in recent months. Individuals and local groups have been continuing the battle of keeping our ditches clean. It all comes back to a community taking pride in where they live.
Every piece of trash that is taken off of the side of the road, makes the area less of an eye sore and means there is one less dangerous item for animals to swallow. Cleanups also restore these creatures’ habitats.
The City of Amery recently looked at its city solid waste ordinance. Ordinance 02-2022 Chapter 362 (found on the city website) was approved at the May 4, 2022 City Council meeting and covers topics including: collection of solid waste, collection of recyclable materials, preparation and collection of nonrecyclable materials burning of waste and littering .
Council member Rick Van Blaricom said he was concerned about non collectable materials listed in the ordinance. He wondered what resident options are for disposing. “Just to say that we do not like them, I think we should have something in place giving people options.”
He said even having numbers people can call for removal would be helpful. He has a fear that much of this waste will end up in area ditches.
Council member Eric Elkin said that information should not necessarily be part of the ordinance, but the information could be on the city website and newsletter.
Elkin said education is also key. “We talked about setting up a committee to do education and identify best practices,” he said. Elkin said the Womans Club for example, could be involved for recycling education and they could help provide information to residents on how to properly dispose of items.
The city council agreed it would be wise to move forward with establishing the committee.