Bill Nelson, an Ellsworth resident and bus driver for the local school system, digs an old tire out of the mud on a sloping wooded lot off Deane Street on April 30, 2022. Over a period of 8 months, Nelson and a couple of occasional helpers removed more than 40 old tires from the property after he read about them in Bangor Daily News article. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

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In response to the Belfast Coalition members picking up thousands of cigarette butts, plus, Ellsworth’s Bill Nelson’s (no relation) valiant efforts to clean up areas littered with old tires: What a gift these resolute citizens have given to their respective cities!

Thousands of butts carelessly tossed into drainage ditches and along sidewalks, bravely recovered and properly disposed of. Six old tires cast aside by owners unwilling or unable to take them to the transfer station and pay the $1 fee.

For over 30 years on my near-daily walks, I have picked up an endless array of bottles and cans, fast food containers and wrappers and various debris tossed from vehicles by drivers too heedless to carry a trash bag in their vehicle.

What are parents teaching their kids through this harmful practice? That it’s OK to litter public property with no thought for the environment and wild animals that could ingest plastic or get cut on broken glass, or just plain eye sores to walkers and motorists? Just a matter of course, for sanitation and aesthetics’ sake, I carried a trash bag or two for litter and always came home with at least one full.

It’s a no-brainer to care for our beautiful Mother Earth in this simple but effective way. All it takes is a little extra effort, and a caring heart and a trash bag.

Trudy Nelson