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Ignorance is bliss; litter around Providence

Isabella Santoro

Anchor Staff Writer

Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni via Pexels

Trash. When we think of that word, something always comes to mind. Usually that’s a bag full of plastic bottles, half eaten food and all-around disgusting things you wouldn’t take a second glance at. You most likely don’t. I get it. Why care so much about the trash around Providence neighborhoods? Well, there’s several reasons why you should care.

Simply put, it is very harmful to the environment for trash to be left lying around. Plastic, Styrofoam, and the many other things littering the streets are not biodegradable, so they sit and rot for who knows how long. Glass is a subproblem as it is a very dangerous thing to be left on a dirty sidewalk.

Broken beer bottles line the sidewalks. You might not think this is really all that important but imagine stepping on it as you walk by. Imagine an animal stepping on it. Now that draws your attention, does it not? Nobody wants to step on broken dirty glass, and no one would want their pets to either. Imagine all the animals that could be harmed by this lazy act? Would you notice it then?

Styrofoam take-out containers nearly destroyed are found everywhere. Surrounding them are bits and pieces of napkins, plastic, and paper. Styrofoam is not biodegradable, so it could sit like that, in that one place for years if no one takes the time to pick it up and discard it into a trashcan. It’s extremely disheartening to see so much Styrofoam is circulating around Providence and the surrounding areas knowing that it’s severely harmful.

Providence’s south side could evoke a lot of different emotions. For one, seeing so much trash lying around is shocking because I am not used to it as much where I live. So much trash makes a neighborhood look unkempt and uninviting. This neighborhood could have so much culture and so many happy memories brewing, but you’d never know looking at how disheveled the area appears.

In areas you can find destroyed couches, thrown away chairs and other furniture left on a sidewalk in the South Side. The chairs do not even appear broken, so it makes me curious as to why they were just left there so haphazardly. One could simply take those chairs and give them to family, sell them, or bring them to the Salvation Army or Savers where they might find a loving home. The way they are so easily thrown aside makes me sad knowing they could have been salvaged.

So much litter can attract bugs and rodents to houses, businesses, and neighborhoods. It can also bring down property values and paint neighborhoods as dirty and uninhabitable, even if they are not. Providence is a wonderful city with so much cultural diversity, so why not try to make it appear the best it can so people will want to come visit? We may be the smallest state, but that doesn’t mean we’re invisible, and neither is the trash. So not only is it bad for the environment, it’s bad for our economy.

Think about that the next time you want to throw your McDonald’s out the window. So much of the trash we see we so easily pass by. I often notice people passing right by it without a care in the world. I know I’ve been guilty of this too, but maybe it’s because people simply see it too often to care or because it’s become a part of their scenery. Nobody really wants to look at trash, so they don’t, and pretend it doesn’t exist. Because if you’re not the one who left it there, is it really your problem? But it shouldn’t be left there to rot. It shouldn’t be so easily looked over as if it’s not there, because the sad truth is that it is there and it won’t simply go away by showing a few pictures. It stops when people are aware of the litter strewn around, they might take a deeper look into cleaning up the neighborhoods and not throwing their trash out onto the sidewalks and streets.


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