My wife and I are truly fortunate to call Driggs our home and, like the majority of our neighbors, we chose this place because of all that it offers to those of us who enjoy the “outdoor lifestyle.” We are surrounded by natural beauty that still takes our breath away, even after having lived here for years. However, it appears there are some in our community who consider our surroundings to be their personal garbage can. Over the past few months we’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount of trash along our roads, especially high traffic roads such as Hwy 33, Ski Hill and Stateline. For example, the volume of trash along Ski Hill road, particularly from downtown Driggs to the Stateline road, is stunning. It’s logical to assume that most of this stuff is coming from people driving motor vehicles. Hence, it’s also logical to assume that trash is being thrown out deliberately, or results from careless placement of refuse in pickup trucks or open trailers. Bottom line – roadside trash has a significant negative impact on the appearance of our community and conveys a lack of respect for this special place, as well as, lack of community pride. This seems counterintuitive for a region that relies heavily on the tourism industry for much of the economy. What message are we sending to those who visit this area when they see trash everywhere while attempting to enjoy the spectacular scenery? Perhaps there are those who think trash along our roadways is the price of growth, however, I hasten to point out that we’ve seen far less garbage along the roadsides in Teton County, WY. So, what’s our excuse? We don’t need any more laws on this as we already have one.
“Idaho Code, #18-3906 – PLACING DEBRIS ON HIGHWAYS. (1) It shall constitute an infraction for any person to throw from any vehicle, place, deposit or permit to be deposited upon or alongside of any highway, street, alley or easement used by the public for public travel, any debris, paper, litter, glass bottles, glass, nails, tacks, hooks, hoops, cans, barbed wire, boards, trash or garbage, lighted material, or other waste substance, and is punishable by a fine of one hundred fifty dollars ($150).”
Perhaps it’s time to start enforcing this law with more rigor before our community looks more like a landfill than a mountain paradise!