Even before the pandemic, littering and dumping trash was a problem in Falls Township. Add in the improper disposal of masks and rubber gloves and it’s easy to see why Falls officials are asking for the community’s support in putting trash in its place.
Supervisors Chairman Jeff Dence has tasked township staff with organizing trash pickups. Falls police will begin ticketing individuals caught littering or dumping garbage. Falls may also engage TAG (Towns Against Graffiti) to help clear the major roadways of litter.
“It’s disgusting,” Dence said. “People drive down the street throwing trash out the window.”
Littering is an issue throughout Falls, Dence said, noting that Cabot Boulevard, Route 1, and Lower Morrisville Road have been problem areas.
Besides the aesthetic and quality of life issues stemming from trash piling up in the community, litter can pose environmental impacts as well.
According to Green Matters, litter releases toxins into the environment that it is not suited to handle. It gives off harmful gases that hurt the air and atmosphere, such as methane. While most landfills have methane emissions regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is no way to control emissions from litter. Further, trash that is not disposed of properly often makes its way into water systems, polluting water and endangering animals that ingest the litter.
Supervisor John Palmer suggested a community activity or recognition in honor of Earth Day on April 22nd. Perhaps a litter cleanup day would be the perfect way to combine Earth Day celebrations with improving the Falls Township community.
Litter prevention organizations such as Keep America Beautiful offer ways for the public to get involved in local efforts.