20 tons of trash cleaned from Apalachicola National Forest in just one weekend

Volunteers removed more than 20 tons of garbage from the Apalachicola National Forest recently. But forest officials say the problem of illegal dumping, of sometimes hazardous materials, continues to grow. Along Highway 319 in Leon and Wakulla counties, near Tallahassee, Florida, volunteers, National Forest staff and others fanned out into the sometimes thick underbrush.

Instead of pine needles and leaves, they encountered household garbage, refrigerators and other appliances, TVs, building supplies, tires and large chunks of asphalt. “You name it, it’s probably out there,” said Apalachicola National Forest Deputy Ranger Harold Shenk.

In years past, cars, fiberglass boats, buckets of motor oil and piles of car batteries have been found during the annual cleanup, Shenk said. This year, two large dumpsters were filled with abandoned tires, which can also become additional breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Besides the ecological concerns of dangerous trash littering the forest, it takes away from the appeal of its solitude, Shenk said. “When people go out to see the forest, they don’t want to see a bunch of trash,” he said. “It really spoils what people go out to the forest to do.”

So, thanks to the volunteers, but c’mon Florida. Wise up!

Full story here…


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