2011-04-29 / Letters

Spring Is Here And So Is Garbage

Dear Editor,

Spring is here – and the people on the Rockaway peninsula welcome the mosquitoes with open … you guessed it, not with open arms, but with open trash.

On our twice-a-week-round to clean the area around Norton Basin near Michaelis Bayswater Park we pick up large numbers of snack bags. In the photograph the snack bags were found on two collection days. And, as is nature’s way, these discarded bags all are open and filled with rainwater. A little research on the Internet reveals that “source reduction” is the most effective and economic way of mosquito control! So before we have to listen to the endless laments on the mosquito problem at public meetings, why don’t we do ourselves, and the city managers a favor and make a head start on the mosquito problem at the source: Discard containers that can hold water where they will not end up in the environment. I often think that people on the Rockaway peninsula think that recycling means throwing your empty cans into the bushes.

Shoreline fishermen, a special note to you as well. While you are enjoying that lovely cool beer, waiting for the big one, please remember that if you leave your beer bottles or cans behind, you will find a welcoming committee of vicious mosquitoes when you return. Please carry those empties back out with you.

And to the rest of us, people who would never think of throwing anything away except in receptacles intended for this purpose, pick up that can (bottle or baggy) when you see it. Look around you and find a few of those right-side up baggies. They are simply everywhere.

The parks department can help, too, of course — by making this year the year that they start actively recycling! Maybe the Department of Parks can do a bit of education, and maybe they can be more vigilant in cleaning up after inconsiderate patrons.

And last but not least — the sanitation department can help by starting a campaign and by ticketing people who litter! We can use the money to reinstate the disappearing garbage receptacles at bus stops and near high traffic areas.


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