I am sure you have walked down a sidewalk recently where your feet kept stepping on or dodging litter. The litter could have been fast food cups, bags, or even food dumped near the sidewalk. I see this all the time and I get tired of it, especially in my own neighborhood. My neighborhood is a nice one, however, there is a street that many people use next to my house. The street runs parallel to the train tracks and people walk over the train tracks to get to the nearby shopping plaza. There are also homeless folks who walk around aimlessly as well. So, there is a ton of foot traffic and a ton of litter that comes along with the traffic.
What I do not understand is why people in the neighborhood do not help clean up? There are plenty of walkers, joggers and others who use this pathway and don’t seem to mind running or walking among trash. If people just picked up a few pieces of trash daily I wouldn’t be writing this. I feel that people think they do not need to be bothered with it and choose not to act, even though it brings down the appearance of their own neighborhood. Are they lazy, yeah maybe. Or, they allow people like me to continue to try and fix the problem.
Just a few days ago, my son and I cleaned up what I call, the stretch of filthiness. We picked up the usual fast food crap, and human feces, WHAT? People sleep behind some of the bushes that are in the flowerbed near the road. This is disgusting and I want the city of Fresno to do something about this. I have called the city about this, but nothing seems to happen. My family and I have been cleaning this area up for over a year and it’s getting old. I am sure some others are helping but it doesn’t seem like it. When we clean up, we get the usual response, Thanks for cleaning up,” and I always tell them that it would be nice if they did their part too. I mean, do they like running through filth?
There is a theory called the broken window theory. Wikipedia explains it best: The broken windows theory is a criminological theory of the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments to prevent small crimes such as vandalism, public drinking, and toll-jumping helps to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes from happening.
We all need to do our part. This means, holding onto your trash until you find a trash can to throw it in. It also means for those who like to dumb illegally and who throw trash out of their cars to STOP DOING IT! Stop being selfish and find a solution. Hold onto that garbage in your precious vehicle until you come across a garbage can. Most cars run on gas, so wait to throw it away at a gas station, or at your own house.
Whenever I walk through the stretch of filthiness once it has been cleaned up I feel refreshed. It is like after your car has been washed, you get that good feeling inside. I felt proud the other day when I took my walk. I knew I was going to be walking on pure sidewalk instead of trash. This will last only for a few days that is why it is important that we all do our part. This is one area where people can truly make a difference. It does not cost anything to help clean up, it only takes about 15-20 minutes of your time. Heck, you could make a routine out of it. If you walk daily, carry a small trash bag with you and pick up the trash on your walk.
If you do see illegal dumping or graffiti, you can always contact Fresno city by using the Fresgo app. It is available for free from google play and I believe I phone.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller. I am a five time Telly Award winner.