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Pitching in to keep Goochland beautiful
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Pitching in to keep Goochland beautiful

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If you want to divide drivers into two groups, you might perhaps do it this way: There are those who wait until they get home to get rid of whatever trash they may have in their vehicle, and there are those who simply throw that refuse — be it a bottle, a bag or whatever else that is fling-able — out the window.

To the former group, I think I speak for all residents of Goochland when I say “Thank you.” To the latter group, I have just one word: Why?

To be sure, not all of the trash and debris seen alongside the road in Goochland is due to the actions of those who simply can’t be bothered to find a trashcan. Sometimes it comes down to carelessness when transporting trash to the transfer station, or some other unintentional act.

Sadly, however, there is no way that this accounts for all of the roadside rubbish.

Curious about the habit some people have of using the roadway as a dumping ground, I did a quick Internet search. As it turns out — and this was news to me but perhaps won’t be to some of our senior readers — tossing trash out the window of one’s automobile used to be a fairly common occurrence. In fact, according to some historians, it wasn’t until Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady and wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, took up the cause, that any real headway was made on curtailing the process.

What Mrs. Johnson did, by pushing for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was bring enough attention to the issue that people began thinking twice before tossing their trash out onto the road. While she wasn’t the first anti-litter campaigner, she may have been the most high-profile. Eventually, it seems, her efforts paid off. While roadside trash has never fully disappeared, those who toss it face harsh public scrutiny and hefty fines if caught by law enforcement.

While nothing may be able to fully prevent litterbugs from peppering the roadsides with refuse, a new group is seeking to address the issue. Clean Goochland, formerly the Goochland Anti-Litter Committee, held a cleanup Saturday along Manakin Road with 10 volunteers and is looking to hold several more events in the near future.

Along with other initiatives aimed at roadside trash, the work they do will most certainly beautify Goochland. We applaud them for their efforts, and thank them and all other residents who participate in clean-up efforts for helping to keep Goochland the lovely place that so many of us enjoy.

Less litter is possible, after all, but we all have to pitch in.

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