Ah! The days are getting longer. The weather is getting hotter. Residents are mostly vaccinated, and people—and bears—are starting to spend a good deal of time roaming around outdoors. With spring time festivities comes a problem that looks to be getting worse: trash.
At the Indian Valley Community Services District meeting last week, residents near Round Valley Reservoir bemoaned the immense amount of trash and debris surrounding the lake.
The grade between Greenville and Mt. Hough Estates on Pioneer Road is inundated with tossed aluminum cans as I write this.
Downtown Greenville also has more than its share of curbside litter for a town of our size.
And this weekend, my neighbors—for the third time in recent weeks—had their trash go missing, but they did not think to look for it on our property across the street where the bear left it.
Indian Valley residents we have a trash problem and that seems strange given how small we are. We can’t blame it on tourists yet—it’s not Memorial Day weekend yet—and we do not have an influx of out-of-towners for summer events yet, so this trash I speak of is ours.
I haven’t been to Indian Falls this season but I’m pretty sure the indentations in the big boulders by the river are once again housing beer cans and cigarette butts.
This is a call to action. All of us need to be respectful of both our environment and our neighbors and own the fact that this is our trash and no one else’s.
What can we do?
•Pack out. There aren’t enough public trashcans in downtown Greenville or open ones at campgrounds and public spaces. If you make the trash, pack out the trash and bring it home to put in your own garbage cans.
•Secure trash. The bears are wide awake. There’s no reason to put trash cans out before trash pickup morning. Put it out in the morning and not the night before. We always secured our trash bin and recycling bins in the garage with the door appropriately shut. I now know far more about my one family of neighbors than I ever cared to know: their eating habits, the medications they take, their drinking habits, what they read, even their bathroom habits all because I now wind up picking up their trash.
•Volunteer to keep the community clean on your own. If you walk by litter, pick it up. If you see someone litter, call them out. This situation will not get better until we all pitch in to keep the community looking its best. We often fall into the habit of waiting for someone else to do it. We wait for the county to hire someone to do it, or CalTrans, or the Forest Service. But doesn’t it take less energy to just bend down and pick it up?
So many of us keep talking about wanting tourists to visit our area and take in the beauty of it—and to spend money in Indian Valley to boost our little economy. Why not do our part to make sure people visiting us have a positive experience and have a positive impression of the beautiful valley we call home?