Letter writer: ‘Common’ trash practices need to change

Graphic by Lori Deaton

When I called Buncombe County Solid Waste and Environmental Control to complain about my neighbor’s yard, which for the past year has been getting buried by cans, plastic, boxes, bottles and other recyclables, and most recently globs of table scraps, that was the answer I got! [“That’s a common practice around here.”]

None of the recyclables have been rinsed, and even though they are in bags, the bags have been sitting in the yard for a year, torn and spilling trash everywhere. What really gets me though, is the table scraps — for the squirrels, they said.

Since when do squirrels eat chili? Or Hamburger Helper? How about some spicy Mexican cornbread? I thought squirrels ate acorns and pine seeds, vegetables and a little fruit. And if you’re not going to sit and watch the little critters and enjoy their antics, why feed them at all? I see plenty of acorns and pine seeds to feed all the squirrels I want in my yard.

What I don’t want is rats, raccoons, opossums and other creatures of the night that may have rabies. And … my dogs eat [their] scraps. (Dogs will be dogs, but I do not like them to eat something that has been sitting in [a] house/yard for days). [They] have a dog, why don’t [they] give the scraps to him/her?  Why don’t [they] just throw them in the garbage?

So now you’re going to say I’m a city person, and I’m not used to this culture. That’s true. But I spent every summer on a 150-acre farm in the middle of nowhere in Maine. The only thing my grandparents threw out for the wildlife was watermelon rind, pea pods, cornhusks and such.

If this is common practice that has been passed down from generation to generation, it’s time to clean up your act. It isn’t the 1800s anymore. We have service that comes right to your house; imagine that. We also have places to take hazardous waste, junk vehicles, etc.

This isn’t just a neighborhood squabble; this is about saving our Earth.

— Aila Sundelin


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9 thoughts on “Letter writer: ‘Common’ trash practices need to change

  1. henry

    When we had a cabin in the mountains, we had a similar problem when our neighbors would try to burn their household garbage, which usually only half burned. Over time this built up into a pile of everything you mention these people throw out. I took pictures of it and sent them to the Health Dept, which required them to clear it up. You need to attack this as a health and sanitation issue, to a more concerned authority. Good luck.

  2. Yep

    Aila, trash strewn everywhur is indicative of low/no intelligence and we have WAY too much of that around here, so that
    will not change because SO MANY people are just trash themselves …just look in AVL around all the many public housing
    projects that keep AVL TRASHED all the time with NO respect from the AVL Housing Authority… face it we live amongst
    trashy appalachians…they just don’t know any better!

    • Craig Randolph

      While I can’t come in here and defend some folks trashy yards, businesses, ect…mama taught me that cleanliness is next to Godliness (jeez, gotta be careful using the name God , else I will stir up an issue that will make the present discussion look ‘trashy’ by comparison ). What I can come in here and discuss right now are the hateful,bigoted,uninformed,racist comments hurled at others in here. Like I said, can’t defend some folks slovenly ways, cause, given enough time, it can become a health issue. That’s the direction I would come at this from. While too much trash lying around is unsightly, unsightly doesn’t affect your health I’m sure that some of the problems of trashy yards, houses stem from those that aren’t physically able to get out and clean up around their places. Maybe not a lot of them, but some. But, for someone to have the stupidity to come in here and make the blanket statement that those who live in public housing, Haitians are nothing but trash is nothing but a bunch of garbage. Garbage with access to a computer and a very mean-spirited attitude towards others. As AVL LVR stated, (though from a totally different slant than mine), hope others don’t think all Southerners are like this. And what should truly be banned is the way some sit in judgment of others just because of the way their yard looks…or if they can only afford to live in a mobile home .

      • Yep

        hey CRAIG…uh, sorry bub, but YOU do NOT have the RIGHT not to be offended…now go pick up some public housing TRASH !!!

        remember CRAIG, it’s the progressives that want to BAN trailers in Dumbcombe Co !!!

        • Craig Randolph

          offended , progressives/conservatives…WTF??? You haven’t the least right to tell me what I’m offended by or not offended by..and if judgmental/rude/ignorant folks such as yourself (who, apparently LOATHE Dumbcombe county, and most of the people that live within it’s boundaries) cannot make a criticism of an issue without it being at the expense of others, then maybe you and you’re ilk need to live elsewhere, THEN we can switch your cute little moniker of Dumbcombe county back to Buncombe county. If your so offended about the conditions in this area’s public housing units, I’m quite sure there are ways to improve the situation…such as the ‘Adopt a Highway’ program. Get outside, get some fresh air, a bit of exercise, and help build comradery. Or, could it be (most likely a resounding YES) that going into a public housing area to work for the common good is below you on a socio/economic scale?

        • Craig Randolph

          sorry, yep. Mountainx did not encrypt the last gem you sent me, hence unable to read it. So sorry…

  3. “it’s time to clean up your act.”

    What do I have to do with the writer’s country dispute with her neighbor? Call the cops, for goodness’ sake.

  4. AVL LVR

    Its indicative of a larger problem common not just among rednecks, but also among Haitians and poor people around the world. They should use their poverty as an excuse. They are poor because they are lazy. South Korea was once poorer than African after WW2. Now they are one of the wealthiest. They pick up their trash. It puts you in a right frame of mind.

    The phenomena in Southern Appalachians is also a lack of good land management skills. Think trailers and trash. If you gave them a chance, they would cover the countryside and be rusting into the woods. I don’t want you to think all southerns are like this. Where I grew up in NC, people cleaned up after themselves. Another example of good land management skills is Mount Pleasant, SC. Yes, we should hold them accountable and yes we should have banned trailers already.

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