In the 1970s, there was a strong anti-littering campaign. A main focus was a public service announcement depicting a Native American with litter tossed near him, followed by a tear streaking down his cheek.

The campaign was effective.

Sportsmen followed the call and pushed for clean river banks and camp sites.

Youngsters reminded each other to not litter.

That campaign is just a memory now and littering is again becoming a local problem once again.

The Route 209 hill between Lansford and Summit Hill was littered this week with fast-food wrappers and other debris. Other highways also had some litter on them.

In a Wal-Mart parking lot, a woman changed her baby and dropped the diaper on the parking lot blacktop.

Youngsters walking from playgrounds discard soft drink containers into yards, driveways, flower beds, or merely on sidewalks.

Where is the respect for other people and their property? Are young people so lazy they can't take their litter to a proper receptacle?

At some playground basketball fields, there are garbage cans. Still, individuals choose the ground as the place to drop their candy wrappers and containers instead of utilizing these cans. Even threats of shutting down the play areas because of the trash being discarded doesn't stop the littering.

You never hear of littering fines because to cite such careless individuals the police would have to witness the act. Who would litter in front of a police officer?

As more and more municipalities resort to cameras at public locations to prevent vandalism, maybe these cameras can also be used to find the individuals making these areas a mess with litter. If so, not only should fines be imposed, but police should make public the names of the violators.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com