Tuesday offers chance to enlist in war on litter

Although a kick-off event for the third year of an effort to keep Robeson County clean and green on Tuesday includes hundreds of invitations targeting key potential players, we are pretty sure if you showed up unannounced, you would be welcomed — and fed well.

All organizers would ask in return is that you clean up. No, not the dishes, but by joining the effort to make Robeson County more prestine, a noble goal in itself, but also one that could pay handsomely on the economic development front as well as in efforts to recruit professionals, such as doctors and teachers, who make our community better in so many ways.

No one wants to live in a dump.

The problem in Robeson County is simple: We have too many idiots who litter the landscape, and too few who come behind to pick it up.

We need to change that math.

Tuesday’s event, which is sponsored by the Robeson County Clean & Green Committee, is being held from 5:45 to 8 p.m. at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Event Center. Organizers have sent hundreds of invitations throughout the county, targeting schools, churches, businesses and civic groups, and are holding their collective breath that there is a large turnout. Some of the details of the event can be found in a story by staff writer Bob Shiles on page 1A of today’s The Robesonian.

The effort to clear our roadside of trash, which took a major blow with the 2009 death of Mr. Clean and Green, Wilton Wilkerson, who would bug folks about litter. It was rebooted in 2015, with Commissioner Raymond Cummings taking the steering wheel. There has been success — but ours is the largest county in the state with 951 square miles, and we are blessed with a lot of miles of major highway, Interstate 95, U.S. 74, U.S. 301, N.C. 211, N.C. 711, N.C. 20, N.C. 72, to name just a few, so that is a lot of vehicles from which trash is tossed, leaving thousands of miles of roadside that need attention.

We believe that there is tremendous opportunity in reaching out both to churches and schools, of which there are a whole bunch in Robeson County, as well as businesses.

What better way to honor God’s work than by clearing it of trash, so we hope some church pastors this morning encourage the worshippers to be there on Tuesday. As for the schools, part of the education of any child should be civic responsibility, and keeping our county clean is a shared responsibility. It is clear that there is an economic boost to a litter-free county, which is why an expert on economic development, will speak on Tuesday.

So if you can, drop by the event center on Tuesday, and enjoy a meal and learn how you can best help. But if you can’t attend, it’s easy enough to enlist: Simply don’t litter, and organize efforts in your community to have cleanup days. Not only can a community cleanup be a wonderful chance to make your neighborhood more attractive, it offers an opportunity to get to know the family next door better while getting a bit of exercise.

You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Choose one.