Many thanks to Michael Harney for his letter on the amount of trash in and around Asheville [“Welcome to TrAsheville?” Jan. 18, Xpress]. We, too, have found the trash volume sad and extraordinary for a destination city whose natural surroundings are compromised. Missing from Mr. Harney’s letter was the sheer number of abandoned vehicles leaching oil into our storm sewers and river, curbside disintegrating rolls of padding and carpeting, mattresses, old appliances — some have been there for years.
Do we not see this trash and how it impacts everyone’s quality of life or do we just not care? Let’s begin to see the trash, and then ask for better for our city, our families, our guests and ourselves. Keeping Asheville “weird” shouldn’t include roadside and property trash.
Perhaps we should all carry trash bags in our cars and pass them to the panhandlers at every exit ramp — fill the bag (oftentimes with their own trash), and we’ll donate. Proven to work, “compensation drives behavior,” and while I don’t think we should profit from cleaning up our own city, well, if it helps, it’s a good start. Further, a plan can be put into place with our city to pick these bags up on a regular basis. Perhaps a bounty on a full trash bag might curb some of trash and panhandling on our exit ramps — turning trash into cash.
The use of the Asheville App is another way to notify our sanitation department for a pickup. I’ve experienced very prompt response and cooperation using the app.
Trash is trash, my friends and neighbors, let’s begin in our own yards. Grab a bag and some gloves when you leave the house for your walk and fill it up. Asheville needs an anti-litter campaign much like we had in the ’70s, which publicly discouraged litterbugs. We live in a town known for its abundant creativity — let’s find a way to boost awareness and action together.
— Carol and Michael More