In Other Views: Let's clean up West Virginia

EDITOR’S NOTE: Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Independent. This piece originally appeared in The Intelligencer (W.Va.).

Our mountains and valleys are a wonder unmatched anywhere in the country.

But too often, we fail to respect what visitors to our state travel just to see.

Litter (and sometimes large appliances) accumulates at our roadsides at an alarming rate. One wonders why drivers don’t simply wait until they can get to a trash can to toss out their garbage, but such behavior remains a true mystery.

So, it is up to the rest of us to clean up after these folks. To that end, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has set the Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup for Sept. 24.

Division of Highways and Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan officials are partnering to get the public involved in cleaning up nearly 70,000 miles of state highways and roads.

Groups that sign up to participate will receive garbage bags, work gloves and safety vests for volunteers, and the state will dispose of the trash. Just contact the county Division of Highways garage for the supplies.

This is not a job for smaller children, so volunteers should be at least 12 years old, but otherwise, the project can be taken on by individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, civic groups … anyone interested in making sure West Virginia’s scenic roadways are as beautiful as they can be.

But those who hope to help must register by Sept. 16 at 800-322-5530 or

It is a shame to have to organize such an event, but because we have among us those who care little for our wild and wonderful landscape, others must step up to get the job done. If you are able to organize a volunteer effort, please do.

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