River Cleanup

This trash was found during a river cleanup in and around Livingston Parish on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Aquestion surrounded the presentation of litter being a problem in Livingston Parish.

“Isn’t this why I pay taxes?”

It isn’t, and it isn’t.

Litter pick up is why you pay taxes because, to a certain extent, citizens have passed the responsibility on to government. Full-time employees to handle the situation (Denham Springs); making it part of regular operation through the Department of Public Works (Walker and the parish); using community service or criminal labor (Sheriff and the parish); and special, paid initiatives to help on state and federal highways ($7.6 million from DOTD).

It isn’t, because there’s obviously not enough funding and labor to handle the job. Despite consistent effort and money paid toward litter, it still exists – rampantly – in Livingston Parish.

The one exception is DOTD’s initiative on state and federal highways but that, too, paints a picture of ‘not enough’ because the one-time cleanup curbed litter for about a week.

Holding catastrophic failures of infrastructure as an ‘outlier,’ meaning the repair of broken sewer lines or a sink hole eating up a roadway that would have to be fully repaired quickly, litter is often forgotten as a way of life.

And that makes it ‘catastrophic’ in it’s own right.

Why? As infrastructure wears out government, in theory anyway, prepares for its failure and replacement. But how to handle a problem that is so persistent that, in Walker for example, 30-35 bags of trash are collected daily, with 0 ebb to the consistent trash flow?

The answer is that it takes a village to curb the litter problem – the responsibility cannot fall on the government, alone.

There’s plenty of budgeting blame to drop on the federal government, state government, and local government regarding spending.

But litter? Litter is a persistent problem that shows no signs of stopping. 70,000 vehicles hit the I-12 corridor in Livingston Parish, daily. They throw trash out the window consistently, and current litter laws haven’t done anything to deter the practice.

That’s just the I-12 corridor, it doesn’t include local roadways.

So, if the belief is that local government should be responsible for litter, call your local parish councilman or city representative and express that opinion and ask for them to dedicate more money to the cause.

In the mean time? Pick up a piece of trash and toss it. Litter affects drainage, and Livingston Parish has a litter problem.

(1) comment

MissMaaliss

I see at least 2 Fast food bags and drink cups litter in parking lots like Walmart and Stage every time I park my car. People eat in their cars and when finished- just throw it out their windows.

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