To the editor,
I recently read an article about the efforts in Nepal to pick up litter left behind over the years from people climbing Mt. Everest. Having grown up in rural Carver County, I frequently notice the work of local litterbugs. Many livestock farmers harvest hay along the roadways for feed. When litterbugs throw garbage out of their car windows, you may as well be placing that trash right in front of a farmer’s livestock, because much of it ends up going into a bale of hay. When a cow swallows the wrong object, like a piece of metal, it can result in a call to the veterinarian, or worse, the rendering company. Livestock will try to eat almost anything placed in front of them, so if the farmer doesn’t find all the pieces of trash in a bale of hay, the cow most certainly will.
The most common forms of trash I find are containers from fast food restaurants. Other popular items include metal cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles filled with yellow liquids, and cardboard boxes. On occasion, someone leaves behind a full case of beer, which is possibly the only item that is ever appreciated. The most remarkable item I ever encountered was a flattened cardboard box I recently discovered from somebody’s sex toy. I don’t want to try and understand why it was thrown out of a moving vehicle along a sharp corner in the highway, but it’s still lying in the ditch along County Road 33 if the owner would kindly pick it up. While you’re at it, take a garbage bag with you. I’m sure you could fill it up quickly, and it would save me some time and trouble.
Farmers and their children are often the ones who end up picking up roadside litter. Throwing garbage out the window doesn’t make it magically disappear. Instead it makes it your neighbor’s problem.
Some people dream of a day where there’s no plastic in the oceans or no garbage on Mt. Everest. I would like to see the day when there’s no litter along Carver County roadways.