Litter problem continues to plague county

Published 3:28 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dear Editor:


After many years of complaining about the litter in Butler County I find that it will take more than complaining to get this problem solved.  I am writing to both editors of the two local papers to enlist their help in this war on litter. Something has to be done about litter and litterers.

Email newsletter signup

Every day we read and hear the bad news regarding unemployment, cost of living increases, deflating properties values, cities, counties and states being in dire economic straits, failing school systems and crime. I know in comparison to these issues litter may seem like an insignificant problem.

I am of the opinion that litter plays a part in all of these issues. Littering is an act of irresponsibility, disregard for the law, and laziness. For example, it is proven that the crime rate is lower in areas that are clean and attractive with landscaping.  Property values are higher in areas where the residents have community and ownership pride. Can you imagine the financial burden that would be taken off our cities, counties and states if litter was not an issue that had to be dealt with? The cost and manpower that is associated with litter affects every facet of our lives.

For just a moment let your eyes be those of the person visiting our town in order to locate a new business or industry in Greenville, or maybe someone just looking for a small town to live in.  What would you see? You would see a small southern town that unfortunately has a downtown that has many vacant buildings, a thriving interstate exit, new school, wonderful library, industrial park, spectacular Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, Sherling Lake, super softball/baseball fields, hospital, many historical homes and beautiful churches. And last but not least – LITTER.

You would probably come in contact with some of the friendliest people that you can find anywhere. If you were looking to relocate a business or industry our city and county officials would wine and dine you with the utmost of southern hospitality. If you were just looking for a home one of the many real estate agents in Greenville would be your personal guide in the area.

While you were being given the tour of Greenville and Butler County you would be appalled to see the amount of litter on the highways and byways. While it’s not as bad in the city limits, litter is off the scale in the county. I dare say this would certainly impact the decision of the industrialist, entrepreneur or prospective homeowner. Their conclusion might be that the people of our area are lawless, irresponsible and lazy.  Would you want to make an investment here? Probably not.

While I am sure that it is very difficult to actually catch the people who are trashing our city streets, county and state roads surely it is not impossible. I think it would be very interesting to know how many tickets were written in the last year for littering and what collected fines resulted from those tickets.

With much disgust I pick up litter most everyday and on the days I don’t pick it up I need to. It would be hazardous to my health to pick up without rubber gloves. You cannot imagine some of the filthy things that people throw out on the side of the road.

Litterers can afford to pay fines, after all they can afford to buy fast food, alcohol, cigarettes, disposable diapers, expensive energy drinks, etc. But fines are not enough. Litterers should have to do community service by picking up litter or either going to jail.

I am challenging our law enforcement, city and county officials, business leaders, school teachers, parents, homeowners and Butler County residents in general to get on board and let’s clean up Butler County. We will all benefit from the effort and maybe we will all have more pride in Greenville.  We have a lot going for us we just need to capitalize on it.



Mary McKinley