Our View-Trash and a lack of volunteers … are people too busy to care?The fifth of July offered only the spectacle of a massive amount of trash.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
It was another spectacular Fourth of July in Carlton County.
Before the parade started in Moose Lake, traffic was backed up all the way to Interstate 35. By the time the fireworks erupted over the St. Louis River in Cloquet, Veterans Park was jam-packed with families on blankets, roving groups of excited kids and revelers of all ages.
The fifth of July, however, offered only the spectacle of a massive amount of trash.
The parade routes in Moose Lake and Cloquet were littered with candy wrappers. The city park on the shores of Moosehead Lake needed the caring services of the city’s parks cleanup crew. In Cloquet, Veterans Park was awash in discarded cups, plastic bags, papers, wrappers, even a diaper or two. (Exactly how does a parent NOT know there’s a missing diaper somewhere?)
Two people responded to a last-minute plea for volunteer help to pick up the park that morning — along with several event organizers and their family members — while four people took the time to comment on Facebook. One expressed shock, one suggested busing everyone from the jail to do the work, one thought there should be more garbage cans and the fourth writer thought a special committee ought to do the work.
While it seems evident that fewer people litter today than 30-40 years ago — when the world was emerging from the dark ages of environmental awareness — it’s still a problem, no matter how many garbage cans there are.
“There’s always going to be trash,” said Veronica Fenice, executive director of the Moose Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sadly, there are not always volunteers. Nowadays, it seems people think they are “doing their part” simply by attending events and showing support by participating, eating and enjoying what’s being offered. While that is, indeed, much appreciated, volunteers are mighty scarce, especially on a day that most plan to spend with family and friends.