Lately there's been increased lip-service given to taking steps to clean up the overabundant and illegal junk and litter that is scattered about the county. As the current chairman of the Chenango County Environmental Management Council (CCEMC), I'm all for it. The question is, will it actually happen? We've been down this rusty, cluttered road before, several times in fact, and a tour around the area reveals little has changed. In fact, it seems to be getting worse as our local economy struggles to keep pace with competing areas, both in-state and beyond.
Thanks to the lush early-summer foliage, a substantial amount of the clutter is now hidden from view, at least from the roads. But come fall and winter, it will reappear like the ghost of junkyards past. Visitors driving into our county will then get a clear view, regardless of which route they travel, be it NYS Routes 12, 23, 206, 320 or just about any other route in our area. I've heard some remark that this is "such a beautiful area, if it weren't for its junky appearance." What a wonderful slogan that would make to promote more tourism and attract potential new residency and business interests.
I'm no purist and I realize that one man's junk may be another's treasure, but must they exhibit it so prominently? Even operating farms that keep unusable equipment for spare parts, in case usable ones need servicing, can't field an excuse when none of the rusting equipment matches anything they are now using. And then there's the junk cars, old appliances, wheel rims and tires, etc., etc. that decorate some residential and even some business properties. What exactly are their purpose and usefulness? Prominent time non-capsules to be viewed in the year 2107?