Trash, Litter Invading Midland

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- In Midland, almost everywhere you turn, you see litter. The trash problem is getting worse.

Executive Director of Keep Midland Beautiful, Doreen Womack says, "We have two annual clean-ups every year. [We have] one in the Spring and one in the Fall and we have groups that go out and volunteer on a weekly basis and monthly basis but that just doesn't seem to be enough."

It's so bad, in fact, when we asked viewers on our Facebook page if they'd seen an increase, well over 100 comments were posted.

Victoria Ramirez wrote, "Yes. A friend visited from out-of-town and asked if that was garbage on the sides of the road. It was actually embarrassing. I guess I had gotten used to it so I didn't notice."

Correna Allen wrote, "It's awful. It's the very first thing my family and I noticed when we moved here from Washington State. It makes everything look run down and unkept."

So, whose responsibility is it in the first place? Womack says, "Everybody's. It really is. I think that there's been a misconception by some people that Keep Midland Beautiful [does that]. That we go out and pick up trash."

Why's it getting worse? For starters, the city is growing and fast.

"We have people who maybe come into the area who don't care about Midland as much as we do," she says.

Keep Midland Beautiful also says when people see a littered area, they're more likely to keep polluting it because they assume nobody cares.

On Thursday night, the Pecos City Council was set to hold a final vote on a plastic bag ban. However, that was postponed in the late afternoon. Midland City Council says the idea of a bag ban will be thrown around during their City Council retreat in March.

Natural Grocers is one of the only stores in the Basin to implement their own ban.

Store Manager David Dutchover says, "We're not believers in plastic bags simply because they pollute and take about 450 years to biodegrade."

Instead, they use recycled boxes.

"The product comes off the truck. We take the product out, put it on the shelf, fold the boxes up and throw them in the bins so that way customers can use them," he adds.

As for the litter, Keep Midland Beautiful says we've got to take more pride in our city.

"This is our city. It is what we make of it and this is what we've made," Womack said.