Most thinking people are surely concerned with the trash along the roads of America. IT IS EVERYWHERE! I am especially concerned with litter in the part of Kentucky where I live. The question is, what can be done about it? Some would suggest heavier fines and stricter enforcement of existing laws. My view is that such laws are almost impossible to enforce and crate a great deal of hostility and resentment as well. I would hope, too, that we could enlist the chief offenders in any litter abatement program that we might devise. Any such program ought to be easy to administer, inexpensive, and involve most of the community.

Here is my suggestion:

Designate the first Tuesday of every month as “TRASH TWOesday” when everyone would be encouraged to pick up at least TWO Pieces of litter. It would be the one day each month when all of us would zero in on litter removal and would thus involve many in the community.

To make the day a bit more visible, lawn signs and bumper stickers could be printed announcing the day:  “Today is Trash TWOesday, etc.” Schools, churches, and businesses would be enlisted to see that their property would be litter free on that day. Five interested people in your town or county would be given twenty dollars in one dollar bills to be passed out in TWO dollar token rewards to the first person or group of people seen picking up trash.

A bank might provide seldom-used $2 bills to make this even more interesting.

In addition, people picking up trash would give the TWO-finger sign to passing motorists and pedestrians to show they are part of the program. Friends, family, and paid workers would not be eligible. I’m sure some nice person would supply the money for the first several months, and I am optimistic enough to think that in a few months, there would be no more litter, and that because of widespread community involvement, even the litterers would see the error of their ways!

This simple, inexpensive plan could work for towns and counties all over the state–my state, your state–all over the United States!!!! Wouldn’t it be nice if our state became the most litter-free in America? How about if America became the most litter-free country in the whole world? I like that idea. Soon, people all over the world would be saying, “When you visit the United States, you never see any litter. It’s the cleanest country I’ve ever been to.” Now, that really would be nice!

Ernie Tucker is a long-time resident of Ashland, Kentucky.  He is a retired History professor from the Ashland Community Technical College (ACTC). Ernie is a raconteur, collector, writer and notable character around the state of Kentucky.