Letter writer: Welcome to TrAsheville?

TAKE A PAGE FROM WOODSY: "Let’s recall what Woodsy Owl would sing: “Give a Hoot — Don’t Pollute … Help Keep (Asheville and North Carolina and) America looking Good!” Image courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

For the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day weekend, I spent nearly six hours collecting trash from a few hundred yards of the sides of the road and sidewalks in Oakley, the neighborhood where I live, and along the entrance to downtown Asheville where the 240 expressway and 19/23 converge — only because I was tired of looking at all of it every time I passed by.

Nowadays, driving almost anywhere in Asheville and Buncombe County, one might see a plastic bag or piece of cardboard or sheet of paper on the ground or up in a tree or bush, but getting a closer look will unveil beer and soda-pop bottles, and candy and cigarette wrappers, and articles of clothing, and empty snack and food containers, metal objects and even pieces of car parts from accidents. It is a bit of an internal fight to stop the urge to walk 10 more feet collecting the continuous array of detritus.

So here is my challenge to the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners for 2017: Create a few dozen part-time jobs, and title them Street Sweeps. Pay each of them $10 to $15 per hour for 10-20 hours per week, giving them a reason to be proud to maintain the streets, sidewalks, roadsides and gutters free from all of the sorts of things I found.

Let’s recall what Woodsy Owl would sing: “Give a Hoot — Don’t Pollute … Help Keep (Asheville and North Carolina and) America looking Good!”

— Michael Harney


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13 thoughts on “Letter writer: Welcome to TrAsheville?

  1. Lulz

    And what on Earth are those fancy street sweepers for? The city has plenty of employees folks. They’re just utilized in areas that aren’t needed and as a means to employ women and minorities. Go to city hall and request a document and you’ll go through 5 people to get it. Literally.

  2. dyfed

    OK, so cleaning up the streets is not a bad idea.

    But a few dozen at those rates? Whoa.

    So let’s assume City Council hires exactly ONE dozen street sweeps, pays them 12.50/hr for 15 hours each of labor, and employs them year-round.

    The street sweeps cost the Asheville tax payer $117k a year, in pay alone.

    That’s not counting benefits, supervision, equipment, and other overhead.

    How about we just get some volunteer groups together instead and get 200 or so Ashevillians to donate 3 hours a week and bring their own work gloves? The city can donate bulk trash bags and arrange for trash haulage if you really must spend some of our money on this project.

  3. Deplorable Infidel

    We already have government subsidized clean up ’employees’ ‘organized’ by ‘Green OPPORTUNITIES’ that pop up every now and then and then HACA hires a service to haul off furnishings and other big refuse every week but the VOLUME of trash emanating from Asheville is unbelievable. HACA and City should BOTH start calling these people out as criminals! For a city that ‘thinks’ its such a clean utopia I have NEVER seen such a vast amount of trash…(don’t all these liberal progressives understand the concept of green ?) I am CONSTANTLY complaining to the HACA ‘management’ to clean up they shite. Trashing and littering is a total DISRESPECT of our environment, and it’s time people be SHAMED for it CITY WIDE! WHY does the elitist City school system never teach the children about trash pick up anymore ? They don’t.

    suggested signage around town and public housing:

    ‘If you throw down trash on the ground for somebody else to pick up, then YOU are NOT welcome in this city’ …
    ‘You might be a (******) if you throw trash on the ground and expect someone else to pick it up’ …
    ‘If you can read, throw yo trash in a can!’

  4. Deplorable Infidel

    City council got rid of our badly needed leaf vacuum trucks and doubtful they care much about the trash problem outside downtown. Have you ever seen such a poorly kept city of means ? No.

  5. sis

    Why not have prisoners clean up to help pay for their costs while locked up? Other jurisdictions do it. Much cheaper.

    • luther blissett

      The first two comments see a job that by definition can’t be outsourced overseas and want prisoners (or unpaid volunteers) doing it? 2017 in a nutshell.

    • Deplorable Infidel

      sis, practicality is not practiced in the cesspool of sin …

      • Lulz

        LOL, why would it be when there’s a group of people that assume that anything can be cured with more money? But if it the spending is reckless there isn’t enough money that can be stolen to make up for it.

        • luther blissett

          Self-appointed defender of the working class opposes working class jobs, prefers prison labor.

  6. Deplorable Infidel

    big volumes of litter and trash in a town signifies a low class and ignorant population, right on target here…

    • Jay Reese

      I live near Biltmore Park and the litter is bad there also. So much for your belief that only poor minorities litter.

  7. Deplorable Infidel

    OK, some results! GO Opportunities, taxpayer subsidized help was out today picking up trash around (what else?) public housing..

    so you see that no only do we heavily subsidize public housing, we then have to PAY for labor to pick up their trash…NEVER any help from HACA to educate their residents…and government screwls don’t teach kiddies about how ‘not to litter’ anymore, so WTF to do?

  8. Jay Reese

    The writer is correct in his assessment that Asheville and the surrounding area has a litter problem. The State official I spoke with this week told me that prisoners cannot be used for trash removal. He also stated that Republican Administrations will not support a staff tasked with keeping our community clean. How this effects our city government I am not sure. The city does have the Asheville App that you can notify them of a multitude of issues from litter to dead animals to bicycle hazards. The State has just passed a law requiring all garbage trucks to have a cover over the trash in their truck. These trucks account for a large percentage of the litter. Another big source is loose trash from the back of pick up trucks. Pedestrians account for some trash especially within walking distance of convenience stores and fast food restaurants. But by far the most vial of offenders is the ignorant smoker who mindlessly tosses their butts out of the car window or on the ground as they walk. Look on the ground at any intersection or entrance to a business and you will see the disgusting collection of cigarettes. The quickest solution is for everyone to walk out into their neighborhood and just pick the trash up. I personally maintain a 2 mile section of Long Shoals Rd. It only takes about an hour or two to canvas the entire stretch of road. It is good exercise and an excellent way to serve your neighbors. Business owners could help by having their employees police the grounds near their businesses.

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