Wilton Wilkerson, famously known as Robeson County’s Mr. Clean and Green, is probably saddened by the sight from above — his beloved county covered with trash, particularly our roadsides that too many people continue to consider trashcans.
Wilkerson for years was the loudest voice in an effort to keep this county clean and green, but since his death on March 18, 2007, no one has carried that banner. It looks to us that trash has been piling up ever since.
If you doubt that, just get in your car for a leisurely drive — and our case will quickly be made. Plainly put, it’s disgusting.
We can think of few things easier than not littering. It simply requires that trash be properly discarded in a trashcan or Dumpster, and not on the side of our roads.
It does make a difference.
As has been said, there is only once chance to make a good first impression, and those who visit our county or simply pass through on all those littered highways can’t be impressed. This extends to professionals looking for a place to work, and to industrial officials looking to locate a plant. If you are looking for a job, and throw that empty soda can on the side of the highway, you haven’t done yourself any favor in the job hunt.
It could be worse. Thankfully, there are in Robeson County 29 groups participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program that was was established in 1988 by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to keep are roadsides free from litter. But those volunteers only cover 57.3 miles of roads and highways in Robeson County, so there is a lot more asphalt that needs to be adopted.
More about that program can be found at the following websites: http://www.ncdot.gov/doh/operations/dp_chief_eng/roadside/Beautification/highway/ and http://keepncbeautiful.org/take-action/adopt-a-highway/
There is also the Sponsor-A-Highway Program, which allows businesses to sponsor state-approved contractors in the cleanup efforts along Interstate 95. More detailed information on that program is also available on the Adopt-A-Highway website.
Marjorie Davis,who works at the Transportation Department’s District Office, is eager to share information with you about either or both programs. She can be reached at 910-618-5546.
We will publicly made a deal. If someone reads this and decides to enlist a group in the Adopt-A-Highway program, call us and let us know when you will be out gathering trash, and we will send a reporter along for a photograph and a story — and the opportunity to highlight the problem and perhaps inspire a few more people to chip in.