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It’s about time a local jurisdiction finally put its foot down against littering. There’s too much of it all along the highways, streets and alleys, especially in D.C. and Prince George’s County. And it appears that no one cares enough to do anything about the problem. 

The unsightly mess of fast-food containers, napkins and cups, plastic bags and even tresses of fake hair line the curbs of local streets, creating an eye sore in otherwise potentially-beautiful neighborhoods. Drivers callously toss trash from their car windows or drop it to the ground as if believing someone is being paid to clean up behind them or worse, hoping the rain will wash it away. 

Is there no pride in having a clean city? 

However, we’re encouraged after learning that the litter problem has not fallen on blind eyes in neighboring Prince George’s County where County Executive Angela Alsobrooks recently announced a new initiative, Growing Green with Pride. It’s an extension of the county’s Part of It, Proud of It Beautification Initiative, launched over three years ago. 

With litter continuing to be a problem, residents must not have received the memo, causing them to remain ignorant of their “duty to pitch in and reduce the amount of litter in the County and adopt behaviors that will lead to a zero-waste future – in line with the State of Maryland’s goal of 85% waste diversion by the year 2040,” according to the initiative’s website. 

The beautification campaign, “Prince George’s Proud,” will take a new twist in October when every resident, business owner and community organization is expected to participate in a county-wide community clean-up day on October 7 called “Growing Green with Pride.” 

If no more than consistently sending a solid message to residents and visitors that littering and dumping are no longer tolerated in local communities, the effort to clean up neighborhoods will have a fruitful beginning. But the effort must be ongoing with enforceable consequences for those who break the littering rules in order to make the problem disappear.

We agree with County Executive Alsobrooks that “in order to keep our communities clean and aesthetically appealing, we must all work together and do our part.”

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