If you saw the waste on the streets, lawns, and sidewalks you would conclude that this town was raised to believe that a trash can is a rare commodity. The town is full of lazy, dirty, uncaring, and uneducated people who are unaware of the global fingerprint they leave. This includes the city sanitation workers as well. They are reckless. How quickly they can get the job done is more important than getting it done properly. The garbage truck always partially misses his own truck’s hopper shattering glass and waste onto the ground. Each week I spend twenty plus minutes cleaning up the trash on the end of my driveway before the heavy desert gusts come in blowing the debris away with the tumbleweeds all over the neighborhood. This only begins the global damage of this town.
The water here is toxic. You do not drink it. We receive monthly notifications of toxin levels in the water. The last letter received stated, “It is highly recommended while fishing on the local lakes or rivers that protection is worn to limit the exposure to toxins found in the fish and water.” The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using rubber gloves while fishing, throwing the fish back into the water and not eating more than one fish per year from our local water sources. It is suggested that the fish have all been contaminated and increase risk of illness in humans and deformities in pregnant women. Most of the town do not heed this warning. I cross over the bridge daily witnessing multiple boats riding down the river, children and adults swimming, and people lined up along the edges of the water fishing without protection. If you ask a townee about the water they rant on how it is a dramatic government cover up similar to the one in Roswell. They support this by speaking to you through their own noticeable shortcomings explaining how life long consumption have not affected them. I do not touch the local water.We live in an oil rich area where hundreds of thousands of pump jacks litter the land with matching burn offs running 24/7. They place these pump jacks on farm land, cattle farms and next to local water sources. The ground absorbs multiple oil spills everyday leading to contaminated crops. The air fills with fumes evaporated by the sun and those escaping the burn offs. When the rains falls you do not smell the fresh, earthy scent but instead are flooded with a thick smell of oil. The toxins released from these oil sites are trapped in the clouds waiting for the rain to recycle them back to the grown again contaminating the crops once more. Remember that when you are at the grocery store picking out fresh items from New Mexico.
It is a shame that these small desert towns lose the importance of caring for their lands. It is a shame that the government does not have a better way to protect the land that they rip oil out of. I know that I will not see the full global impact during my generation but I feel depressed when I think of future generations and the wasteland we are slowly creating for them. I will leave you with something that I always tell my own children – Always leave a place better than how you found it.