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‘Charlotte, we have a problem’ …

My walk this morning to a coffee shop at Foxcroft took me voluntarily along one of south Charlotte’s busiest thoroughfares – Fairview Road.

It’s two lanes of heavy zoom-zoom traffic. It was a purposeful route. I wanted to see with my own eyes the extent of litter in an unpatrolled area (by a trash picker upper, I mean). Any time I plod a new route, there are moments of utter frustration at accumulated litter and trash. Such was the case today.

I bear witness to what could only be described as a trash heap running nearly the length of the south side of Fairview from Colony eastward to the west entrance of Foxcroft. There, in the underbrush beyond a guard rail, is a mountain of junk: fast food containers, bottles and cans, large plastic bins and other sorts of plastic. It was disgusting.

Even if the drivers and passengers in speeding cars wanted to notice, most of the garbage is beyond their view. The debris lies down a short embankment or is hidden by foliage which, as the spring continues apace, will only serve to screen off the jetsam that much more. It was thrown there and there it will lie, unseen, until some caring soul comes along to do something about it.

It’s doubtful anyone will – or should. There’s just too much of trash. The volume is enormous. The street is very busy and the sidewalk is hard against the right lane of traffic. I may take a stab at it but Harris Teeter bags aren’t sturdy enough for this gargantuan task. But if I do, it sure as hell won’t be on a weekday morning; there’s too much traffic. And most days, there’s not enough time considering the enormity of this environmental predicament and at a minimum this would be a several hour ordeal.

And that says nothing about what is most likely a similarly sickening situation not too many yards away on the north side of the road. To paraphrase Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, ‘Charlotte, we have a problem.’

About Dave Bradley (254 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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