It’s Sad and Troubling: Illegal Dumping Sites Are Trashing Mesa County
It's a ghastly sight seen far too frequently in Mesa County- piles of trash and garbage scattered in random places in western Colorado's great outdoors - and I find it most disturbing.
Do You Remember the 'Crying Indian?"
If you are old enough, you probably remember the "Keep America Beautiful" television PSA featuring the "crying Indian." The native American rows his canoe to the shore only to see it littered with trash - and then goes on to witness the pollution and litter of the big city. It was a very moving and touching 60 seconds.
It's hard to believe that was some 50 years ago, and, unfortunately, that PSA could be made today and would look eerily familiar. The trash and pollution problem is as big as ever - despite clean-up efforts like the Adopt-A-Highway program where various groups, organizations, and entities take on the responsibility of keeping a section of the roadway clean. So many people just toss their trash out the window as they cruise down the road.
Trash Problem In Mesa County
The Bureau of Land Management- Colorado posted some photos on social media from a recent clean-up project at the Gunnison Roller Dam in Mesa County. It's a shocking sight. Trash and garbage have been piled up like it's a miniature landfill. And how about the abandoned RV that somehow was left there to slowly deteriorate.
BLM Cleans Up 20k Pounds of Trash
Recently, the BLM Grand Junction staff worked with a contractor to clean up several transient camps and illegal dumping sites in Mesa County. The result was the removal of well over 20,000 pounds of trash. Undoubtedly, some of the trash is the work of transients, and that's an issue all by itself. But, some of the problems come from Mesa County residents who simply haul their personal trash and garbage out to remote sites and dump it.
Littering On Grand Junction Streets
Here's evidence that many people don't give a rip about pollution and trashing our precious land. Countless times I have been driving down a Grand Junction thoroughfare and watched somebody flick their cigarette butt out their car window onto the street. I have wanted to yell out - "Dude, the earth is not your ashtray!" Yes, it's just one cigarette butt, but one becomes two, two becomes three - and then, it's thousands.
It's Public Lands, Not Public Landfill
It's possible we can't do much to stop people from littering. But, maybe we can stop illegal dumping. For starters, don't do it. Secondly, if you see illegal dumping on public lands in Mesa County report it to authorities. You can call the non-emergency line at 970-242-6707. Maybe we didn't get the message 50 years ago - but the admonition of that message still rings loud and true today - Keep America Beautiful - and let's start with Mesa County.
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