Letter to the Editor
To: The Chicago Times
Subject: Public Littering in the City of Chicago
The rates of littering across the City of Chicago have been escalating in recent years. While walking or driving around the streets, the rampant rates of littering are evident in this beautiful city. There are various notable causes of this problem. Firstly, city authorities have been more or less reluctant to implement the existing policies on public littering. Additionally, officials from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) have not performed effective audits of the city council’s mechanisms for environmental safety. This has given a leeway to the residents with regard to littering recklessly.
In addition to laxity from city officials, another cause of the problem pertains to the inadequacy of public enlightenment programs on environmental health and safety. In the absence of such awareness initiatives, some people litter the city without knowing about the actual ramifications of their actions. However, ignorance is also partly to blame for the reckless littering habits of some people in the City of Chicago.
Littering not only affects the city’s immediate environment but also the wellbeing of its population. For instance, littering exposes people to heavy metals. The continuous exposure to such toxic substances is dangerous from a health perspective. Littering also undermines the stability of ecosystems in the city. The wellbeing of the human population in this city is strongly dependent on the stability of ecosystems. Chicago is a brilliant tourist destination. Continuous littering will have negative implications upon the city’s excellent reputation. Consequently, this will hamper tourist activity and thus undermine the city’s economy. When garbage accumulates for a long time, it produces toxic greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. These gases have an inherent capacity to trap energy in the atmosphere and thus heighten the average surface temperatures. This phenomenon is a critical aspect of global warming. The extensive littering across the City of Chicago is thus contributing directly towards climate change.
In view of such undesirable implications, it is essential to establish an effective strategy for mitigating the problem of littering in the City of Chicago. The city council must be at the forefront of mitigating this challenge. It must devote adequate resources towards implementing strict bylaws against reckless pollution. In line with this approach, stern fines should apply to all individuals who litter in other places other than the designated sites. Fines are immensely beneficial in terms of discouraging the public from deviant behaviors. The fines should be used concomitantly with other restrictive measures such as community service. The city council must also establish sufficient sites for waste disposal. This will encourage people to discard waste sustainably. The EPA can also help in the alleviation of the environmental challenge facing the city. This agency is mandated with the establishment and implementation of policies that safeguard the country’s environment. The agency must therefore collaborate with the city council. The EPA has the technical base and resources required to deal with such an environmental problem.
It is also essential to establish a public sensitization initiative that informs Chicagoans about the deleterious ramifications of public littering. These kinds of initiatives would enlighten the people on the best approaches for waste disposal. Such programs have been successfully implemented un other cities such as Austin and Boston. The implementation of these strategies will thus help in solving the problem of environmental degradation in the City of Chicago.