There are communities that have adopted the “Swat a Litterbug” campaign many state highway patrols
promote in this country. Litter costs taxpayers about 11 billion dollars a year in our public parks and
along highways, but that doesn’t begin to account for what litter does to hurt tourism and recreation.
Look for posted signs at Lock 30 Woodlands next month that say “Help us Squash Litterbugs.” Early
spring is when we see how responsible our campers tend to be. That’s when we look at predictable
locations where litter is likely to gather. We place trash receptacles in these strategic locations, but like
leading a horse to water, we can’t make horses drink or campers respect the beauty of a litter‐free
campground. We’re calling on you for your help.
Where do folks litter most?
- Right outside the gatehouse, where campers can purchase ice cream and candy.
- Along the banks of the fishing lake and mile of riverfront, where cans and bait containers are
- Within their fire rings and on their sites, where cigarette butts are disposed of on the ground.
- At the pool, despite the no eating and drinking rule. Litter has been responsible for clogging our
filters, which results in loss of swim time to our guests.
There is a direct correlation between litter and vandalism. Staff does its best to pick up every piece that
we see. But if you think litter is a harmless crime, consider this: Economists put the cost of “picking up
litter” at 30 cents per piece. (And that estimate is five years old.)
It is in your interest as a paying guest of ours to keep that cost down, because in the end, you are picking
up the tab.
Cigarette butts poison pets and children. These leak lead, cadmium and arsenic into the soil for up to 12
years—the time it takes for a cigarette to decompose. One third of all litter is cigarette butts. Sand
buckets are placed outside the front doors of buildings, but they can’t be everywhere.
It is in your interest to keep your pets and children free of cigarette butts. If you see someone tossing a
cigarette butt on the ground, let us know. We note behaviors that are costly to others and direct these
Lock 30 Woodlands provides receptacles for the collection of empty pop and beer cans. A Lisbon family,
who can barely make ends meet, used to pick up these cans and recycle them, using the extra cash to
purchase foods. But imagine their disappointment when they found filled bags of dog waste thrown in
among the cans.
It takes so little time to tuck an empty grocery bag in your pocket when you hike on the lower level. Use
it to collect your plastic bottles and other waste as it accumulates, then drop it off at one of our
dumpsters conveniently located on the property, near the pavilion and by sites closest to the gatehouse.
If you do your part, so will others. Children who see their parents respect the beauty of their
surroundings, follow suit. We want to keep offering ice cream, sodas and bait to our guests, but only if
the packaging of these treats can end up in the trash.
Thanks for your help.
Karen Brucoli Anesi