My wife and I take pride in our property.

We work hard to maintain our home’s appearance, landscaping our yard and keeping things looking neat and orderly because we feel the appearance of one’s property says a lot to others about what kind of a person you are.

And I believe the citizens of Warren County feel pretty much the same way; most folks take pride in the appearance of their homes, mow their grass regularly, and wouldn’t think of having guests to visit without giving the house a good cleaning.

And yet, as one drives the roads of Warren County, that sense of pride in appearance doesn’t seem to extend to our roadways. The ditches are full of trash, furniture, tires, and debris of all descriptions thrown on the shoulders with little regard for the appearance it presents.

Whenever we have guests visiting from outside the county, the topic of trash along the roads almost always comes up, and the impression made by visitors seeing the amount of trash accumulated on our roadways is always a negative one.

I’m sure that most folks don’t litter and feel the same way we do about the trash dumping, but we need to get the attention of that minority of individuals who do the majority of the littering.

Last Sunday morning, we observed a woman and two teenaged children dumping over a dozen bags of household trash onto the roadside. What an example this woman was setting for the children, that’s its OK to dump your trash on someone else’s land to have to deal with!

The saying goes that “all politics is local,” and there are not many issues that are more local than trash and littering. If enough citizens start contacting their elected officials and asking them to pay attention to this issue, if citizens start reporting illegal dumping to the sheriff’s department, and if we as individuals will start taking personal responsibility for what we do with the trash we produce, Warren County in a short time could be known as the “cleanest county in NC.”

Wouldn’t that be a motto to be proud of?