By Neil Muccio

Each year for some time now, citizens of Andes organize a litter pickup to recognize Earth Day, April 22, established in 1970. That initial event helped to lead the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later that same year.

Every week from March 2000 through August 2006, I picked up all the litter from the corner of Beaverkill Rd. and Beech Hill Rd. to Route 30, over the Shavertown Bridge, along Tremperskill Rd. to the Andes Post Office. And from Tremperskill Rd. along what is now 30A, to the Pepacton Cemetery. During that time I learned the 6 sources of litter that mars our roadsides.

  The most common is unsecured trash runs to our town transfer station. Open or unsecured trash receptacles in open bed trucks cause lightweight debris to blow out and pollute our roadsides. A second source is the breakfast and lunch “to-go” crowd who toss their food/drink containers out their vehicle windows. The third occurs when well-meaning folks throw single use trash into open pickup truck beds to “get later” only to have it blow out during their drives. The fourth is beer cans tossed out the windows of those who drink and drive which, surprisingly, continues unabated despite knowing for decades how dangerous this is. The fifth is unsecured trash around our homes that blow off our properties into the woods and fields, often settling into roadside ditches. Last is the waste left behind from construction, MTC, NYSEG and other roadside crews.

The good news is that ALL this litter is preventable with little effort on our part. As we recognize this 55th Earth Day, let’s be reminded that a little effort goes a long way toward keeping our bucolic hamlet’s roadsides beautiful.~