Cleaning up shows us at our best, and worst [Commentary]

Havre de GraceEdgewoodEarth Day

Spring cleaning has taken on a new aspect in Harford County in recent years, as volunteers take on the of picking up litter. The recent Earth Day-oriented Susquehanna River Sweep is one such event. A few weeks before that there was a cleanup along Otter Point Creek in Edgewood, which, like River Sweep, is an annual happening.

This also is the time of year when, likely as not, smaller groups of volunteers will coordinate cleanup days along their adopted sections of county and state roadways.

It's a wonderful community effort that shows that a lot of people care enough about where they live to get dirty cleaning it up.

Unfortunately, what makes possible the wonderful community effort is a level of irresponsibility and uncaring that shows all too many people could care less about where they live or how their actions affect their neighbors. These folks, of course, are the degenerates who generate the vast stocks of garbage and litter that end up being picked up each year.

The problem it seems is that, like cutting the grass, picking up litter is a job that's never finished. It's not because litter grows like grass, but, though littering is something no one is likely to own up to, enough people seem to be doing it to keep litter supplies at irritatingly high levels.

Former Havre de Grace city councilman and long-time community activist Joe Kochenderfer did offer a glimmer of hope on the garbage front. In Havre de Grace, he told a reporter after the main River Sweep cleanup, the 13th in as may years, the volume of garbage collected this year was down from what was gathered on the first year.

As Kochenderfer put it: "...that's a positive thing because it means people are littering less."

We couldn't agree more.

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