LINDEN — Councilman Derek Armstead is encouraging Linden residents to address what he sees as a growing littering problem in the city.
“Our nation’s financial crisis and the home mortgage crisis have caused many homeowners to abandon their homes,” Armstead said. “With millions of homes in foreclosure, the numbers of unkempt vacant houses have grown and no city is immune including Linden, New Jersey. Unfortunately for Linden residents, the steady rain this summer has caused the grass in many of these abandoned properties to grow out of control and becoming an eyesore to their neighborhoods. Additionally, the thick, overgrown weeds at these homes offer a perfect hiding place for raccoons, possums and illegal dumping.”
After receiving complaints from residents who observed a man dump trash in the tall grass of one of these abandoned homes, Armstead responded by not only cutting the grass himself but also by launching a campaign encouraging residents to make Earth Day, Every Day in Linden.
“I realized we had a litter problem in Linden, when I got out of my car to go shopping and saw dirty diapers in the parking lot of the store. It’s just laziness. How hard is it to walk over and put the trash in the garbage?”
Not too long ago, someone dumped a bed, dirty diapers and old food in front of Armstead’s property located on St. Georges Avenue. “This is just shameful,” the councilman said. “I work hard to keep my property clean, only to have someone dumped their garbage in front of it.”
According to the Environmental Literacy in NJ, “There is increasing urgency for today’s adults and youth to be aware of and to understand society’s complex environmental and ecological challenges and how to address them. Just as importantly, people must understand how the problem or issue involves them directly because of their practices or behaviors, as well as how the problem or issue may affect people’s health and quality of life.”
According to Armstead, “Littering is simply unacceptable.” He is asking residents for cooperation and support with his campaign to reduce litter and illegal dumping in Linden with one simple message – “Don’t Trash It. Just Can It!”
“People need to understand that throwing trash such as paper, bottles, cans and food containers on the ground is littering and looks bad. Furthermore, littering is not only illegal, but toxic to the environment. We all need to take responsibility and commit to taking care of planet Earth,” Armstead said. He believes, with the cooperation from the Linden community, the “Don’t Trash It. Just Can It” Campaign will be a success.
This is what residents can do, Armstead said:
- Join the group on Facebook called Keep Linden New Jersey Beautiful and Litter Free. Residents can share ideas and what activities they are doing to make Earth Day, Every Day and support the Don’t Trash. Just Can it Campaign in their neighborhoods and homes.
- Get to know your neighbors-Sometimes the owner of the “eyesore” is a person who may simply not be able to take care of the problem for health or other reasons.
- Organize a community cleanup event by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pledge to pick up at least one piece of litter every day (Keep a litter bag in your car)
- Report litter, illegal dumping and unkempt abandoned property by contacting the Linden Board of Health at 908-474-8409 (Health Department email email@example.com) along with The Department of Public Works (908-474-8666 Fax: 908-474-8631)
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