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Letter: What's with all the litter?

To the editor,

We moved here two years ago from a beautiful, neighboring state. We had visited Minnesota numerous times and knew well of its reputation for beautiful lakes and a citizenry which enjoyed the great outdoors year-round. So it was quite a shock for us when we first used the wonderful walking and bike path out our backdoor to discover the amount of trash that littered this route. But it wasn't only the path. Our streets and sidewalks, the ditches, entrances to shopping centers, parks and riverways. All strewn with trash -- paper cups, bags, plastic bottles, cans, shards of glass, huge wads of bubble gum, bags filled with garbage, fast food refuse. And cigarette butts. You name it, my wife and I have picked it up with grocery bags on our evening walks. We don't understand why some residents here are so willing to treat a beautiful area as a dumping ground.

From our observations, it appears some areas could use more trash cans (although we have also seen trash on the ground within inches of a receptacle), garbage trucks could use tighter covers to prevent litter from blowing out and just in general, people need the discipline to hold onto trash until there is the proper place to dispose of it. Parents, please don't tell your children to not litter and then let them see you flick a cigarette butt out your car window. We have traveled all over this great country and a good deal of Europe. This metropolitan area is one of the most physically beautiful areas anywhere. Why don't we start treating it as such?

Steven Shaver