Littering: Proper disposal of masks is important

It’s a shame to see a pandemic reveal the worst in people, but among the instances in which we have seen an uptick in behavior that ignores common sense and decency is littering.

Right in plain site is the number of people who feel no compunction about tossing masks, gloves and wipes just about anywhere but a waste basket. For goodness sake, folks, what part of that seems OK?

“It used to be (drug) needles. Now I don’t see needles; I’m finding these crazy face masks,” said Neal Goodwin of Parkersburg, who has been doing voluntary litter cleanup for years.

It shouldn’t take more than a reminder from Marietta/Belpre City Health Department Commissioner Anne Goon that tossing that kind of thing to the ground is “not sanitary. It’s littering.”

She suggested perhaps retail establishments should make sure there is a covered trash can at their exits for people to properly dispose of their protective items. But anyone who has walked out of one of the major stores recently knows there is a trash can sitting there … and a virtual trail of masks, gloves and wipes leading from the exit to the parked cars.

No. Some folks are just plain inconsiderate.

That’s why it is important to remember something else, as Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce said, “all littering is bad. All littering is a CRIME.” (Emphasis ours).

If you’ve worn the mask, used the gloves, wiped down your cart with a provided wipe, then you understand those things are the right thing to do to keep us all safe. You are being considerate of others. Carry that thought through JUST a little longer and dispose of those items properly.


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