Letter: Waste is not a political issue

To the Editors:
In today’s heated political dialog, battle lines are drawn and labels fly with ease. Simply claiming to be an environmentalist, let alone assert climate change or global warming, immediately brands one as an elitist liberal Democrat. Mandatory recycling laws may, in the eyes of some, infringe on our liberties and just prove another example on the government’s encroachment on our private lives, regulating even what we can choose to throw out in our own homes. Maybe.
What is not up for debate however is litter and waste. Upon taking a lap around the perimeter of Allen’s Meadows early in the evening of Saturday, Sept. 16, after a busy day of soccer from a multitude of leagues and ages, just walking a quarter-mile along the northern perimeter of the fields, I came across a string of 27 plastic water bottles left on the ground. The majority were still at least half full, with the owner presumably having taken one sip or slug and then dropping it to the ground. This is doubly ironic in light of the school system’s new “zero waste initiative.”
It doesn’t matter if you believe in recycling, don’t want to earn a nickel on a returned bottle, or care about ice caps. The problem is a disdainful attitude of simply leaving trash where it’s convenient, instead of carrying it out. It’s not as if people are being asked to haul out raw sewage — just bring your empty, or partially consumed, Poland Springs bottle with you.
The change in policy for Allen’s Meadows to be a “carry in / carry out” facility is off to an embarrassing start — and has already dramatically increased the volume of trash on the fields. Human nature doesn’t change quickly, and the lack of trash receptacles will only inspire more litter, not a moral obligation of ownership of one’s own waste. People would rather toss their bottle on the grass than bring “trash” into their pristine German SUVs. But please Wilton, show respect for the fields and for your town. Bring your water bottles home with you. Then do whatever you want with them.
Paul Mazzarulli
Wilton, Sept. 16