Roadside Cleanup Efforts Unappreciated (Letter to the Editor)

Editor’s Note: Lower Saucon Township coordinates an Adopt-A-Road program whereby businesses, organizations, individuals and families may adopt local roads, which they are required to clean by picking up litter along them twice a year. The township supplies bags, safety signs, grabbers and gloves for the cleanups, and picks up and disposes of the garbage afterwards. The sections of Ringhoffer Road that are located in Lower Saucon Township are adopted by the Lower Saucon Sportsmen’s Association, which is located nearby. It should be noted that the sections of Ringhoffer Road cleaned by Ms. Wagner are mainly in the city of Bethlehem, which does not have an Adopt-a-Road program. For a list of adopted roads and roads available to adopt in Lower Saucon Township, please click here. For more information call the township at 610-865-3291.

On Sunday, April 8, my boyfriend and I picked up 17 bags of garbage along Ringhoffer Road–17 bags and numerous piles of ‘things’ (TVs, kitchen chairs, toboggans, gas grill tanks, tires, wallets, license plates, realtor signs, flower pots, Christmas lights, and we’re still not done). As of Friday morning, the garbage still sits there. A frequent traveler really enjoys his Wawa apple juice. Two or three full shopping bags of empty containers in addition to about 20 empties are scattered on the ‘big hill’ at the southern end of the road.

Had I known of the fiasco that would follow I’d have never made the first phone call to inquire about how to find someone, somewhere, to come and haul the trash away.

Credit: Google Maps Street View

Part of Ringhoffer Road, which connects Applebutter Road and Easton Road and cuts through the easternmost part of the City of Bethlehem. Both ends of the road are located in Lower Saucon Township.

Parts of the road are the City of Bethlehem’s and other parts are Lower Saucon Township’s. I first called the city because the majority of the bags sit on their section of the road. After explaining the situation I was transferred to someone else. Then again, I was transferred five times to five departments, explaining the situation each time. One of these departments told me to call my household carrier and have them pick it up. The last department said ‘they’ll come out and take a look.’

The garbage still sits there.

I called the township and was again told that someone will be out to take a look.

It still sits there.

Because the township has two of their signs on the road thanking the Lower Saucon Sportsmen’s Association for keeping the road clean (we’re not members), I decided to contact them for their advice–four people via email. One told me it’s not a state road (of course it’s not) so they can’t help. Another asked if it was part of the ‘Great American Cleanup of PA’ or an ‘Adopt a Highway Event?’ Yes, it was our own little garbage pickup party for the day, as we have nothing more pressing to do on a Sunday.

The fourth told me that (quote), “It’s unfortunate that you’ve been given the runaround. Lower Saucon Township does have a litter control program, hence the sign you saw for the Sportsman’s Club. Your best bet is to contact the Lower Saucon Township road department, since they do have the litter program they should have no problem collecting the garbage bags.”

All righty then.

The last call I made (and the last call I will make) was to the Sportsman’s Club. I spoke to a very nice gentleman who asked me if I have pickup truck. If so, he said we are welcome to put the garbage in the club’s dumpster. So, not only did we spend our Sunday picking up garbage, but I guess now we’ll also go pick it up and dispose of it, too. 

I travel this road twice a day. My mother has lived on it for 89 years. It was named after her father. As long as people continue to use Ringhoffer Road as their personal garbage can and dumping ground, I”ll continue to pick up after the slobs.

I was informed last night that arrangements need to be made with the municipality beforehand. Again, had I known of the fiasco that would come, the first phone call would have never been made.

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

Lisa Wagner

Letters to the editor may be submitted to [email protected] Letters must pertain to local issues and are published at the editor’s discretion.

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