JEERS to people who dump tires alongside North Country roads. One of our reporters was walking his dogs along field-lined Hayford Road in northern Clinton County — a seemingly idyllic setting — when he noticed four tires that had been discarded in a ditch. We hope this sounds as reprehensible to you as it does to us. Most civilized people get exercised enough about cigarette butts discarded thoughtlessly on our beautiful region’s streets and highways. Fast-food litter is worse still. It’s unimaginable that thinking human beings could live with themselves after tossing a bag — even a small bag — of trash out the car window onto the road. But tires? That should tax the understanding of even the most tolerant among us. In the first place, it’s an out-and-out transgression of our responsibility to make the area look as beautiful as we portray it to outsiders, hoping they’ll come in and share it with us. How can you tout yourself as a tourist area and abide tires dumped into a ditch? But it’s also an unconscionable ducking of one’s duty to protect the environment and to pay the minimal share in the operation of our highway departments and landfills. That evasion will eventually wind up costing all of the rest of us for the unnecessary service. We all have a fundamental obligation to one another that most of us understand and live up to. If you have some tires for which you’ve outgrown your need, do the right thing: Dispose of them according to what we all accept as the right and responsible way to get rid of them. Don’t dump them into a ditch on a remote road and drive away perfectly satisfied that the rest of us will make things right and you’ll be off the hook. Basic human decency calls for us to have some sense of community with one another.
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