Littering is a problem in Crow Wing County
By TODD DAHL
Crow Wing County Sheriff
We are so fortunate to live in a state that takes a great deal of pride in our recycling and also for the way our roads, our waterways and our lands look. We see “Adopt a Highway” signs throughout Crow Wing County and see many groups and organizations picking up the road ditches on a yearly basis, if not more often.
The purpose of this article is for simple awareness in an effort to help preserve the beauty we have in our state and to advise people that it is against the law to litter. The term litter refers to waste such as containers, papers, wrappers, fast food bags, cans, bottles and cigarette butts. These are non biodegradable and often thrown out vehicle windows, disposed of on our roadsides and remote places where normal travel is minimal and it continues to be a much more serious problem than many people may think. The trash eventually finds its way to our areas lakes and streams and it is said that much ends up in different bodies of water which leads to others things as well.
It is said that cigarette filters are the most common littered item in the United States. I would like it known that I personally feel that smoking is a personal choice for adults of age and one that I have never, and will never have a problem with. However, the issue that we are consistently seeing is that many of the smokers are disposing the cigarette butts/filters on our road ways, our sidewalks and in our ditches which is a blatant violation of Minnesota State Law.
Although I would like to think we don’t have a huge issue here, we do have littering problems in Crow Wing County and it doesn’t mean that we are immune to this type of thing. The fact of the matter is that people continue to violate this law and people should be aware that there is a substantial fine associated with this violation. It should also be known that littering is a choice and a result of personal decisions and individual behavior. People have to think about it before they do it and I would hope after reading this article that people use common sense and think before they act. Please remember to throw your trash in a trash container, dispose your cigarette butts in an ashtray and utilize one of the many approved recycling bins for recyclables that are located throughout our county.
By working together we can accomplish great things, we can stay within the boundaries of the law and help to keep our area as beautiful as it is.