Cleaning up a Problem in California


The message seems to be pretty clear about a problem in California.

In announcing the $1.1 billion-dollar three years plan to clean trash and graffiti from highways, roads and other public spaces in California, Governor Newsom called it “an unprecedented effort to acknowledge what all of us recognize as we drive around this state: It’s too damn dirty!”

We all know a lot of clean-up is needed along the freeways, highways and on and off ramps. And it seems to have gotten worse in recent years, with more litter and more junk, including old mattresses, chairs and other discarded items from the home.

Are there just more slobs in California who don’t see anything wrong with dumping their litter and garbage along the side of the road for others to pick up?

It’s pretty clear that Caltrans workers and the people convicted of crimes who are sentenced to garbage pick-up crews and the businesses and organizations whose names are posted along some stretches of freeways as volunteer litter helpers are not enough to keep California clean.

Even fines for littering haven’t seemed to be that effective in reducing the litter. And even during the many months of the stay-at-home order over the last year or so when there weren’t many cars and trucks on the freeways, there was plenty of litter.

Those of us who choose to live in California despite housing prices that force many to leave for other states, you would think that keeping our state clean would and should be a priority. Earthquakes, wildfires and droughts may be part of life in California, but litter doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be.

(Photo reporting partner 10News)

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