12 July 2005

The Corps decides to be a good citizen

The locks and dams on the Ohio river and its tributaries control flooding and allow large tows to navigate safely, year-round. These structures are controlled and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This is a large undertaking which, by most accounts, the Corps does a good job of.

However, while the locks and dams fulfill their primary role, they also create a problem - trash, lots of trash which builds up behind the dams and in the backwaters near the locks.

The organic trash, the fallen trees and branches, is to be expected. But, mix in hundreds of Jim-Bob's 2 liter plastic Mountain Dew bottles, styrofoam cups, and old wading pools, suddenly you have a huge, unsightly mess of garbage on your hands. If it occurs at those locks in the rural areas of the river, no big deal, I suppose. It's one of those out of sight, out of mind things.

However, for those locks that are close to cities, especially cities with a bit of civic pride, these eyesores are very objectionable and the Corps has been asked to help correct the problem. And how has the Corps handled this request for help? Not very well, it seems. Their attitude in the past has been, "It's not our problem. Go smack Jim-Bob up side of the head and tell him to stop littering."

Uh, guys... uh, you know, that's really not a very good attitude for someone who spends millions and millions of our tax dollars. Could you possibly rethink this one?

Well, lo and behold, it appears that the Corps is rethinking the issue. Go see for yourself over at Cap'n Jacks and his article, We All Have Societal Obligations.


DonSurber said...

I dunno. Most of this trash is natural stuff -- trees -- and I wi\onder what the point is in putting it in a landfill.

But that's just me

Appalachian Gun Trash said...

True, lots of natural debris out there, Don. But, I regularly do a 4 mile stretch of the Ohio on 2 wheels (both motorized and non-motorized) and at the non-motorized pace I see a lot of "JimBob" trash out there. Especially during high water. Also, you can tell when the Corps has flushed debris from the Robt C . Byrd Lock south of Gallipolis. The increase in trash is very noticeable along the Ashland - Ironton - Russell - Worthington stretch of the river.

Re landfills, surely they would address separating the natural from the man made debris.

JimBob needs to assume some responsibility for his actions. But until then, it's a mess and something needs to be done about it and it looks like the citizens of M-town are attempting to do so.