Letter to the Editor: Please pick up after yourselves, make Austin clean

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

I have a HUGE favor to ask of every Austin resident. Let’s make Austin the cleanest town in the state, or better yet, let’s go for the cleanest in the country!

Every day I walk in either my neighborhood including the city park, or I walk one side of Highway 46 West (heading toward Albert Lea) to Banfield Elementary School, on one side then back up the other … not bad for a 75 year old, if I do say so myself.

I actually get a few “thank yous,” although that is not my reason for doing this. Apparently I happen to be a diminishing species of planetary occupant who actually respects this “third rock from the sun” and abhors litter! Mother Earth, despite the daily evidence I sadly see and pick up, is NOT a giant garbage can.

The chemicals, like arsenic (found in cigarette filters), go into our drinking water. Plastic breaks down into microscopic particles that we eventually EAT, since these particles go into our rivers and oceans; fish can’t help but ingest them, and voila — we eat the fish.

There is absolutely nothing beneficial about throwing our garbage out of the car window while careening down a street or highway.

What with all the cigarette butts that I pick up, I have to say it really gets my blood boiling. For everyone who still poisons their bodies with cigarettes, the rest of us have increased medical insurance premiums to care for YOUR lung cancer. Not to mention — who are you people who apparently can afford, what $7, $8, or more for a pack of cigarettes and yet blame our government for the high cost of food? Think about how much healthy food a family could enjoy, if the “adults” stopped sending the message to their kids that it is OK to not only waste money smoking, but to them litter.

SO — everyone — PLEASE stop littering — PLEASE pick up any garbage in front of your own home or business, and let’s get Austin back to where it was when I was a child — clean and beautiful.

Roberta Mistretta

Austin, MN