Sunday, March 13, 2005

That Trashy Trip to Indianapolis

I have been driving from Hartford City to Indianapolis several times a week since 1988. My trip usually follows I-69 to I-465. I have noticed each year how much more trash accumulates along the road. The last ten miles of I-69 now seems like driving through a badly maintained landfill! Not only are the piles of litter unsightly, but they must send the wrong message to those passing through the state. It would be easy to blame the Department of Transportation (and I do hope they have a plan to deal with the problem) but I don’t understand why there is so much litter.

Hoosiers of all sorts claim to be concerned about the environment, so why do they use the public highways for a dump? By some estimates, a tin can, if not picked up, would still be litter after a hundred years. An aluminum can could last several hundred years, a plastic 6-pack cover 450 years, and a glass bottle virtually forever.

Picking up the trash costs big dollars. Even if we use inmates, someone has to supervise and haul it all away. At a time when the legislature is trying to cut costs without raising taxes, doesn’t it seem to you like properly disposing of your own trash beats raising taxes or limiting school funding?

I never actually see folks throwing things out the window so I have to assume they do it in such a way as to conceal the deed. That would seem to indicate that they already know the practice is not socially acceptable. So help me out here. What can we do to make Indiana highways cleaner, more attractive, and less costly to maintain?

I suppose one answer is the Adopt-A-Highway program. My hat is off to those who are willing to donate their personal time and personal safety to this cause, but why should it be necessary? If we want to stretch our tax dollars and be proud of Indiana, isn’t this one area where we could collectively grow up a little?


Anonymous said...

Pass a law like Michigan has on bottles and cans and tax carryout

Anonymous said...

You mentioned inmates. What is wrong using the men for picking up trash on the highways? Chain O'Lakes Correctional Facility has a program that does that very thing. It gives the men something to do and it benefits the environment.

What the other individual said concerning refunds on soda bottles and cans is good. Michigan seems to do well with the program, even though they have more of a population then Indiana does. Maybe it is about time new ideas should be implemented as the old ones no longer work.

Indiana needs to get out of the dark ages and try new ideas. Compared to Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, are roads are just another example of backwoods technology. We have a increase in gas taxes, wheel taxes and other taxes and where has it gotten us?

The roads are continually breaking down what with all the heavy traffic caused by overweight RV's and SUV's. Money created by these taxes were supposed to create better roads. What happened? The creation of a new addition to "69" in the southern part of the state.

Anonymous said...

Use Inmates to clean up the roadways I am sure the aluminum cans they will pick up will pay the cost

Anonymous said...

Everyone who has responded above has done a wonderful job of proving the Senator's point. One asks, "What is wrong with using the men [inmates] for picking up trash on the highways?" I applaud this person for asking the proper question to give you the answer you are looking for: nothing. However, the Senator is simply asking the law-abiding citizens of Indiana to take responsibility and properly dispose of his or her own waste. What is wrong with that?

The problem is that we shouldn't have to resort to inmates picking up trash on the highways or deposits for bottles and cans. We should each be responsible enough to clean up our own mess.

Everyone wants someone else to take care of his or her dirty work. Time to do it yourself. Your mother doesn't work here.