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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

Don’t trash my city

Perhaps it all goes back to the worst summer job I ever had.

When I was 17, I spent my summer vacation working for the Ohio Transportation Department, picking up trash, cutting weeds, and sweeping debris from highway entrance and exit ramps in Cleveland. The days were hot, the work was grimy, the pay was derisory, and the garbage was gross. Unlike Iron Eyes Cody, whose “Crying Indian” TV spot I had seen countless times as a child, I never had a bag of trash flung in my direction from a passing car. I didn’t need to. Three months of cleaning other people’s rubbish from public roadways was more than enough to persuade me that if cleanliness was next to godliness, then litterbugs were going to hell.

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