What can you do to beautify your town?

Unfortunately, trash along our roads is an everyday thing in our world.

People eat in their vehicles, and instead of keeping it until they reach their destination, they throw it out their windows. Items fly out of the back of trucks. We drop papers as we walk along the sidewalk, not even realizing the item is gone.

The City of Weirton is trying to address some of those issues, and is planning a street cleanup to take place Oct. 12.

This will be the second time this year the city has organized such a cleanup, once again with assistance from West Virginia’s Adopt-A-Highway program.

The first one, held in May, saw a few dozen individuals, including local high school students and some area Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, come out and contribute, walking along some pre-selected streets in the city and collect whatever trash they found. There were papers, bags, discarded food items and even some tires that had been dumped in some areas.

Driving through the city after that cleanup, it was astounding to travel up Main Street, Cove Road and Marland Heights Road and see the number of filled garbage bags.

I suppose, as we hurry along in our busy lives, we just grow accustomed to certain things existing and stop paying attention to them, because, while I know there had been garbage along many of our roads, I didn’t realize just how much could have been there.

That’s a shame, and it’s something we all can address with just a little bit of effort.

By being more mindful of our actions, we all can cut down on what is left along the side of our roads. We can keep small bags to hold our trash while in our cars, and then throw away their contents when we get home at the end of the day.

We can find out the legal way to dispose of tires and other large items instead of tossing them over a hillside or next to the guardrail.

The cleanups being organized by the city are another opportunity.

Organizers have posted a link with information on the city’s website (www.cityofweirton.com), including a website where those interested in participating can register. It includes a liability waiver and an opportunity to sign up for a particular area.

The focus once again includes Main Street, Marland Heights Road and Municipal Plaza, along with Weir Avenue.

I would encourage area residents who want to contribute to look into this and see if you are available to help out.

This isn’t something we have to wait to do either. We don’t need someone to organize a mass litter pickup to make a difference.

Last May, while taking pictures of some of the cleanup efforts, I noticed some of the litter was located in residential areas.

We have one young lady who has organized periodic litter collections in the area of St. Joseph the Worker School. There is no reason others can’t do something similar in their own neighborhoods. Get a group of neighbors together and pick a day to pick up whatever debris might be along your street. For that matter, even if one or two residents checked out the area in front of their own homes, it could help beautify their areas. Perhaps it would even inspire others, and before you know it, there are regular neighborhood cleanups taking place.

We all have a responsibility of keeping our communities as clean as possible.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)