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ROTARY CLUB NEWS: The right and wrong way to dispose of your trash

This is a photo collage of Rotary Club of Lake Placid members who helped clean up a stretch of state Route 73. (Photo provided)

An empty bottle or can lies on the roadside, perhaps joined by a food wrapper or something else that someone unthinkingly flung through a car window.

Two things happened with each piece of trash. First, the story behind what happened a few minutes before the item began its journey from someone’s hand to the ground. Something which could have been interesting or mundane. But who cares?

Second, what matters is why someone would willingly believe throwing trash out a car window would magically disappear. Or that someone thought “it’s someone else’s job to pick up after me.” Definitely not a neighborly thought. In fact, it’s a sign of disrespect on several levels, including the environment and your fellow human beings.

Who knows someone’s motivation or other issues, but there are neighbors who make an extra effort to keep our roadsides clean.

Not just for ourselves but to provide our visitors with an all-important favorable first impression of our area’s awesome beauty.

There are signs along many roads which tell you that a stretch of road has been “adopted” by either an individual, a business or a civic organization. These signs tell you that concerned citizens understand that there are times to step up and act because it is the right thing to do.

Twice a year, in the spring and fall, members of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid take on the responsibility to keep a 2-mile stretch of state Route 73 trash-free.

A few weeks ago, despite a slight chance of rain, 14 Rotarians gathered to perform their designated Spring highway clean up.

Appropriately social distanced, they donned safety vests and gloves and armed with grabbers and orange trash bags, they set out to gather up six months’ worth of other people’s litter.

While picking up the many items of trash, the volunteers appreciated drivers who passed and noticeably moved toward the center of the road — a small but valued gesture.

From car bumpers to umpteen bottles and cans, the garbage collected filled six contractor bags. The 2-mile stretch took 90 minutes to complete.

The message here is simple. Hold on to that piece of trash and dispose of it properly. This small act of kindness is huge on many levels.

Now with more time on our hands than we know what to do with, consider devoting some time and energy to others. The Rotary Club website features “Volunteer Opportunities” with descriptions of each project. Any member of the community interested in volunteering is welcome to join in. http://rotarylakeplacid.org. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary Club of Lake Placid now meets via videoconference on Thursday mornings from 7:20 to 8:30. If you are interested in attending a meeting, email rotarylakeplacid@gmail.com.