Today, I again spent more than three hours with no rest breaks in Albany walking the roadside picking up litter along Highway 20, First and Second streets, Lyon Street and the bridge, Ellsworth Street and the bridge and Takena Park, for an estimated six miles.
Along with the multiple bags of litter collected as usual, I also cleaned up two homeless sites in downtown Albany, and carried five large black debris bags found along Highway 20 to the Hickory Street/North Albany Road bus depot. It was a very tiring and frustrating process, and today’s experience validated to me that my four-year effort to instill such dedication into the greater Albany community, Albany city government agencies, the Albany Downtown Association and downtown merchants, and Oregon state agencies (including the governor, the Oregon Department of Transportation and legislators) has been futile, and that my hope of encouraging other residents and commercial facilities to get involved has been foolish. (This past week I found merchants' waste in alleyways, along our streets, sidewalks and greenway areas.)
Thus, I’ve decided I’m wasting my time and effort, and will only become more frustrated if I continue my task with an expectation of any supportive involvement/reciprocity. (I’ve been doing this three days a week for what will be over four years upon my termination.)
Thus, I think it best for my mental well-being to terminate my litter patrol, and perhaps look for a more fulfilling volunteer opportunity.
On a positive note, the years following my termination could likely be financially rewarding, as I suspect I’ll no longer need to contract with Republic Services for recycling and garbage pick-up, as the debris along our roadways will be so severe I doubt anyone will notice, nor any government agency care, if I instead dispose of these (like so, so many others currently do) along the roadside!
Albany (Sept. 8)