Our opinion: Picking up after others

Over last weekend, in the wake of the annual homage to Earth Day, white plastic trash bags appeared on the side of roads like overgrown mushrooms, soon to be plucked and carted off to disposal sites.

The bags, of course, were full of trash, the accumulated flotsam after months of snow and ice covered the gutters and medians, and hid the detritus from view.

Each spring may bring wildflowers, but it unfortunately brings us a reminder that through carelessness or accident, our roadways are arteries that distribute unsightly and sometimes unhealthy trash and garbage throughout the countryside.

To the volunteers who spent hours of stoop work cleaning up the mess, we offer our heartfelt thanks. It takes selflessness and a dedication to community to clean up the mess others leave behind.

To those who tossed those empty paper cups, sandwich wrappers, bottles and cans, who allowed trash to launch unfettered from open truck beds, who discarded their trash on ground they share with others, we offer this: Clean up your act so you won’t be a burden on other thoughtful people. If you feel the need to throw trash about, do it in your yard or your living room, where the embarrassment belongs only to you.

The public byways and public lands belong to everyone, and everyone has a responsibility to keep them clean.