Some of us may get tired of seeing images of illegal dumping of trash on Guam.
We may not like seeing these images, but we have to continue to care about this issue.
If you haven’t participated in a cleanup, we hope you can find the time. And bring the adolescents and teens in your immediate or extended family. If they’re old enough to do household chore, this will be a good part of their life lesson. Just make sure to bring safety gloves and masks. Rash guards or similar clothing would be useful.
Almost every weekend, a few dozen of our island residents take a few hours of their personal time to pick up trash that others have dumped on the side of less traveled roads or in the boonies.
In one such cleanup, in Yigo, last Saturday, part of the goal was to help schoolchildren retake the school bus stop that a homeless man had decided to turn into his personal shelter. The weekend volunteers’ goal was to remove the junk of rusty metal, decaying food garbage, old tires that had plenty of mosquitoes breeding in them, beer cans, Styrofoam food containers, plastic beverage bottles and old electronics strewn along a long stretch of road to and from the bus stop on Chalan Ramirez.
Some of the more obvious problems with this type of illegal dumping are the eyesore and the safety risk for the schoolchildren who could trip over broken glass or rusty metal, or to avoid the trash, would have to walk on the asphalt road and face the danger of being hit by a vehicle.
The safety of our drinking water is an issue, too. This area in Yigo sits above part of our underground drinking water source. As the rusty metal and discarded electronics disintegrate, they could end up seeping into the ground.
A worrisome mindset
The type of trash that ended up along this stretch of the road tells a story about certain members of our community who found the time to load the bagged trash and other bulky junk in a vehicle, and then had the wherewithal to drive to the front part of someone else’s property along a stretch of road to discard them.
The environmental and safety hazards for the area’s schoolchildren aside, the mindset that it’s OK to dump trash on someone else’s land should become part of our community discussions.
What type of a community have we become that some of us think it’s OK to dump trash on someone else’s land when the trash could have been driven to a transfer station for a small cost?
This behavior is not OK. And we need to be more vigilant about this type of shameless act.