Plochoki: Block Litter
By Mike Plochoki
With the second Annual Onondaga Lakefest this month, the continuing Onondaga Lake clean-up – and having cleaner waterways in general – is on the minds of many. Capitalizing on the success of the ‘Save the Rain’ program, it is essential that we take the next steps necessary to ensure Onondaga Lake (and every waterway) continues to improve. ‘Save the Rain’ is a campaign in our community that is focused on the goal, that it is of the utmost importance, that we do not waste valuable taxpayer or ratepayer dollars unnecessarily treating clean water. As part of this program, rain barrels and green infrastructure, like porous pavement and rain gardens, constructed throughout the county are reducing stormwater runoff. However, the aged infrastructure that spans most of the county is problematic in moving us toward completely removing extraneous flow. While the County continues to find funding to remove excess clean water and repair old infrastructure, a new community outreach program is necessary to continue toward an Onondaga County with clean waterways.
The Department of Water Environment Protection (WEP) is tasked with “protecting and improving the water environment of Onondaga County in a cost-effective manner ensuing the health and sustainability of our community and economy”. Last year, WEP reminded residents that litter, rain, Onondaga Lake, and our entire water system are all connected with their ‘Connect the Drops’ initiative. We are all in this together, whether you live in Baldwinsville, Manlius, Syracuse or Skaneateles. Several tributaries feed in to or out of Onondaga Lake. The litter that finds its way to these tributaries not only pollutes the tributaries, but often ends up in Onondaga Lake. Whether it is in our sources of drinking water that will require additional treatment or along our roadsides where the trash is visible, it is important to take litter seriously.
A new campaign is taking shape to fully encourage all residents to do their part. ‘Block Litter’, announced earlier this year in conjunction with the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) is encouraging the community to literally block the litter from entering our system and degrading our waterways. This campaign is one of the most localized, grass roots efforts yet to reduce the litter in our neighborhoods. Simply put, pledge to pick up the litter on your street. If everyone did this, the results would be remarkable! For more information, check out the website blocklitter.com. On this page you can ‘pledge’ to pick up the litter on your street and receive a free kit to assist you in this effort. Of course, involving the young people in your life with this effort is perhaps most important of all!
Mike Plochocki represents the 6th district which includes the Towns of Skaneateles, Spafford, Otisco, Marcellus and portions of the Town of Camillus. Mike welcomes constituent feedback; he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 315-263-3172.