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 I applaud the Daily Sun for reporting on the volunteer trash pick-up event organized by Councilmember Barotz, and I’m thankful for her willingness to get out on the ground to see for herself the severity of Flagstaff’s litter problem. My wife and I, with our two children ages 8 and 12, joined in the effort. We were all astonished at the tremendous amount of trash we collected. Unfortunately, this one effort scarcely scratched the surface of a systemic problem plaguing our city. Litterers act with impunity, but the accumulation of trash can also be attributed to missing or faulty trash can and dumpster lids. I’ve repeatedly seen trash leaping to freedom out of malfunctioning receptacles on windy days. Our litter problem has persisted for so long that some residents may no longer see it. I encourage skeptics to drive by the east-side Wal-Mart, for example, and turn onto the road behind it. Honestly, the forested region there looks like a city dump. I’m grateful for the most recent litter clean-up event and those organized by the city community stewards program. However, Flagstaff has grown to a size where we must approach the problem differently. The Council should appropriate funding for regular litter pick-ups on city property and ensure better enforcement of litter ordinances. And wouldn’t it be nice if local businesses and owners of vacant lots took more responsibility for their properties and surroundings? This concern is too severe to ignore. Flagstaff is our home. Let’s get our chores done.

AUSTIN ASLAN

Flagstaff

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