I cleaned up my garbage, how about everyone helping?

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2008

By Kevin Chiri

Love those mornings like I had on Wednesday.

Got up and headed out to get my morning L’Observateur which was thrown in the driveway, and just around the corner of some trees I could see my early morning wake-up call.

We have to put our garbage can kind of down the road just a bit since we live at the end of a street.

And I’ve tried to teach my boy about not putting it too far down the slope towards the ditch. But more than once he has still not gotten the can far enough out in the road, and the result has been a morning like I had Wednesday.

The garbage can had been knocked back, either by some late-night dogs looking for something to eat, or maybe some gust of wind—I don’t know and really don’t care.

All I know is that we had garbage bags which had tumbled down the slope, some getting all the way into the ditch that had about eight inches of water in it.

So my morning began by having to wade down into the ditch to pull garbage bags up the slope.

That was bad enough. But of course there was one garbage bag that was all the way in the water, which was full of paper items that my wife had apparently tossed out with a recent cleaning binge in our house. Naturally the water had gotten into the bag and had soaked the paper.

So when I tried to lift the bag out of the ditch, the paper must have weighed 50 or 60 pounds. All I remember was getting my toe kicked into the bank and hitting some kind of rock, and almost falling into the water.

Somehow I managed to lift this incredibly heavy bag, which was now tearing open, and get it up the slope to heave it back into the garbage can.

I can only imagine what any of the traffic going by was thinking, as they watched me wading into the ditch, leaning way over to try and retrieve this bag without going head-first into the murky water that I’m sure was full of snakes, or something like that.

In the end, I did have to get into the water anyway, and finally got the bags all picked up.

I would have made my son pick up everything, but he was still in bed and I knew we needed to get the garbage picked up before the truck came, so I got the bags into the can and left the rest for him to clean up

 He was greeted with a nice note on his homeschool desk when he woke up that morning. And it wasn’t signed, “Love, Dad.”

I tell that little story to let you know that I really do believe in keeping things clean, not only in my own yard, home or work place, but anywhere in the vicinity that I live.

That’s probably one reason I’m supportive of the “Keep St. John Beautiful” group, which has done a great amount of good with a small group of people and limited funds.

The group is mainly put together by community folks like you or I who simply want to do something for the parish by trying to help keep it clean.

Our Rotary Club had a visit this past week from Tom Daley, who formed the original group before “Keep St. John Beautiful,” and now heads the organization up.

He told us about the goal of the group to plant 10,000 trees in St. John Parish in 10 years, which began in 1991 and was long ago accomplished, although he also told the story of many small saplings being cut down by parish mowers. The group is continuing to plant 1,000 to 2,000 trees each year—great job!

So many areas in the parish where you see nice trees are a result of the group and their work.

He was asked about the parish garbage cans that you have seen at some major intersections, or at the entrance or exit of the interstate. These cans were a good idea, but what have we also seen? You all know what I’m about to say. We’ve all seen a lot of trash actually on the ground around the cans since we still have people who just don’t care enough, and actually throw their trash down around the can if it is full.

Daley said that the parish recently pulled some of those cans since they were a constant problem, even though the sheriff’s workers empty them three times a week.

But the “Keep St. John Beautiful” group is doing a lot of good in the parish, and has 31 active members, although not all attend each meeting. They are always looking for more help, and I hope some of you will see this as a good opportunity to give back to your parish.

If you are interested in joining in at the meetings to see what they are all about, call Tom Daley at 651-7691.

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at kchiri@bellsouth.net