Car batteries, alcohol containers and tires. Those are just several of the items I found on Saturday, April 21 as I participated in the city-wide cleanup.
Are those items really a reflection of the kind of city you want to live in? I doubt it.
Yet, for 90 minutes on Saturday, I found many items of trash strewn about small patches of the city, including the area of Guinan and Bacon streets as well as the old railroad tracks near the former Waltham Highlands train station. Thankfully, many other people were at other spots in the city picking up trash.
The sight of trash littering both areas -- I'm not kidding here -- raised my blood pressure. With each piece of trash I picked up, I became a little more angry that residents would treat their city that way, as if it were a landfill. Thankfully, I turned my anger into motivation for picking up even more trash.
Waltham is a nice city and home to many natural resources for its resident to enjoy. But, if the trash is any indication, some people don't remember that when they have trash in hand. Next time you are enjoying coffee as you take a morning walk, or have no proper place to dispose of that tire, think of the environmental damage you are creating for the next generation of residents.
Don't get me wrong, this is not to say that Waltham is a filthy, dirty city, because it is not. Like any city, it has its dirty parts, but the city is mostly well-kept. Purgatory Cove, the Charles River walkway, City Common; all are proof of that.
The clean-up was a great event and was obviously successful, but it could be better. While plans are to hold this event annually, I would like to see it held at least every six months, maybe even once per season. It would keep the city even cleaner! If you want to see that happen, I would suggest calling Mayor Jeanette McCarthy's office or Consolidated Public Works Director Michael Chiasson, whose office organized the cleanup, and tell them so.