The Scenic City Is Becoming The Filthiest City - And Response

Monday, March 3, 2014

Over the last year-and-a-half I have been able to drive around numerous parts of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, and I am so sick of what I have seen. Our city may be called the Scenic City of the South, but it is getting to be one of the most filthiest. Everywhere I look I see countless trash littering the roads of our great city. Some of this trash has been sitting for years such as political signs from elections almost six years ago and longer. In fact, I have seen a 2008 elections sign on Cummings Highway.  

It is not just political signs, but I have seen advertisements from restaurants, cigarette butts, condoms, fast food boxes, beer bottles, aluminum cans, and a number of other things that have trashed up our roads. It makes me just sad.  Our city could be so beautiful if we citizens take pride in our community.  However, the people in Hamilton County decide to deposit it out on our streets.  

In fact, on Sunday I was on the corner of Dodds and 23rd street when I looked across the street and saw a black Nissan and the occupants roll down the window and just toss out a dirty diaper and wipes. That just made me sick.  

We are getting lazy, people, and why do you not take pride in your community?  I have a feeling some of the bottles of beer may be from underage drinking or people who do not want to get caught with beer or other adult beverages in their car so they just toss them out at night.

It is not just trash that is littering our nice community but it is graffiti on the roads and byways of our community. I am so ashamed of what has become of our own county where we live. Do you think people who want to visit our town want to see our trash on the roads? Yes, some tourist may dump things on our roads, but do we need to add to it too?  We as citizens can do so much if each of us start cleaning our streets. We can make and help clean up our areas. We can make our county a shining example to the people of the United States.  

In addition, use the grocery bags that we get from the stores and put some of them in your car as trash collection bags. Once it is filled when you are filling your car up put it in the trash cans at the gas station. A little bit can go a very long way in our community. Let's make Hamilton County a gleaming example for the rest of the country. 

Alex McKeel    

* * *

I feel your pain, Alex.  There are some areas of the city that are just a disgrace.  The trash on the side of the roads is disgusting, and the junk piles that seem to be popping up all over the place are even worse.  I think that people see trash on the roads, and subconsciously they just don't feel bad about adding to it.  "Hey, its already a mess, so my McDonald's wrapper wont make a difference."  Actually, it's more likely that people simply don't care about anyone other than themselves.  From the cigarette butts that get thrown out of car windows by the billions to the diapers that you spoke of, these folks need to answer for it. 

I try not to gripe about something without offering a solution.  Here's what I feel is a good start.  In Sessions Court, start turning those "three days public works" sentences into three weeks.  If that seems excessive, don't commit crimes that can land you this type of penance. 

Also, I would love it if City Court would start handing out its own public work days.  If you get cited for littering, what better "punishment" than having to clean up after yourself for a few days.  It also may help with the problem of unpaid fines.  How many zillions of dollars are owed to our City Court?  Out of work and can't pay a fine?  No problem, just collect and turn in a few bags of litter to the dump and get your get out of court free voucher. 

Thanks for bringing this problem to the forum, Alex.  Hopefully at least some people will think twice before tossing their trash out the window. 
Andrew Peker

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