I was glad to see Commissioner Davis bring the issue of trash in our county to light again. Part of the problem is the way we live today and the way things are packaged. I am a 70 year resident of Scioto County and I can remember what we did with trash in the past. I can remember when there was no trash pick-up in the county. Everyone had to get rid of their own trash. I can remember the huge trash dump on Peach Orchard Hill behind West Portsmouth. I can remember the huge trash dump behind the old Friendship Elementary School. Farmers and people who owned larger pieces of property usually had their own dump. I remember people who lived close to the river and had a boat took their garbage out in the river and dumped it, but you didn’t see much garbage on the sides of the roads.
The reason we didn’t see garbage by the roads was because we didn’t eat and drink in our cars. Cars didn’t have cup holders and we didn’t have all these fast food places. Pop and beer bottles had a return value so even those that got thrown out we picked up and turned in for the return value. Another reason we didn’t see much garbage by the road was things were packaged in paper and tin containers; both of these deteriorate fairly fast.
Today’s plastics last forever so each year we continue to see the old garbage plus the new garbage. Today there are still a large percentage of people who live in the county without garbage pick-up, either because they don’t want to or can’t afford $75.00 every three months. We need to find a way to have garbage pick-up at every home in the county and put a return value on containers that encourage people to return them with their next purchase.