MCTC Doing Its Part to Keep Roadways Free of Litter
Baltimore Sun - Online

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To the editor:

Keep America Beautiful Inc. reports that more than 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year. That's 6,729 items per mile. Some surveys indicate that 90 percent of people litter sometimes, but 10 percent are habitual litterers. Traveling around the countryside, it is evident that roadside trash blights the American landscape.

Cleaning this all up costs the U.S. almost $11.5 billion each year, and the presence of litter in a community takes a toll on quality of life, property values and housing prices. Keep America Beautiful's 2009 National Visible Litter Study found that litter in a community decreases property values by 7 percent. And debris finding its way into local waterways just adds to the already serious environmental pollution problem.

Most litter is tossed onto roadsides in remote places where there aren't many houses or into our rivers and streams while crossing bridges. And litter just keeps piling up until a state or local government agency or civic-minded individuals or organizations clean up. There is a lot of that community service going on in neighborhoods all over the U.S. and right here in Washington County. We all can do our part by picking up trash as we are out and about in our daily activities, especially in our neighborhoods.

But the real reason for this letter is to salute the Maryland Correctional Training Center for providing crews to work with state and county agencies that keep up our region's roadways. This partnership delivers a valuable, visible and welcome public service that benefits everyone. Let's encourage them to keep up the good work.

Chuck and Melissa Schwalbe