Fort Mill Times

Bottle bill could keep Lake Wylie clean

Bottle bill would help our shores

Why do so many people consider Lake Wylie, the Catawba River and their shores as their personal dumping grounds?

Why do people haul to the lake, river and shores their cans, bottles, Styrofoam cups, paper bags and other attendant items and then just leave them there instead of taking them back with them when they leave?

I kayak and boat Lake Wylie and the Catawba River and am disgusted nearly every time I’m out there by the garbage left behind by people who have come to enjoy these beautiful resources but, upon leaving, make a conscious decision to leave the resource in a worse condition than it was when they arrived. What could cause a person or persons to do such a thing, and what are they teaching their children when they simply leave their garbage on the shore?

And what about the garbage that is dumped into the lake itself? On a recent boat trip to the popular Lake Wylie sandbar, I stepped off the boat directly onto a glass bottle. I got the family to carefully walk around the area and we came up with four more glass bottles, all of the same beverage brand. Someone had simply dumped five glass bottles over the side of their boat rather than take them back to shore and dump them in a refuse container. A little more walking around and we came up with nearly two dozen crumpled aluminum cans. What kind of person would dump these things into the lake to possibly injure others?

I’m all for somehow getting North and South Carolina together to put a restrictive ... a very restrictive ... can and bottle return fee on all beverages. Small can and bottle fees have proven to be ineffective because the types of “people” mentioned would simply throw away a nickel can or bottle. But what if it was 25 cents? Put a can and bottle fee of 25 cents into the mix and maybe the “people” who have been defiling our beautiful water resources and their shores would refrain from doing so. Outdoor and camping magazines have a slogan: “Leave no trace.” It’s good advice and should be observed by all.

Hit ’em in the pocketbook. It’s the best way to keep America clean.

Mike Stevens

Lake Wylie