Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” originally appears in the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s weekly member e-newsletter. It is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.


There are many repetitive motions in the day-to-day work life of a professional economic developer. As in many other careers, there are endless phone calls to return, research projects to complete, contracts and notes to file, appointments to arrange, and meetings to attend.


Although these activities can’t exactly be described as exciting, they are vital elements in the process of getting “things” accomplished. So, they are done routinely.


For economic developers in Jefferson County, there is one routine activity that’s definitely not exciting. In fact, it’s wearisome and leads to seemingly pointless results.


That tedious activity is the necessary once-weekly check on the status of litter in Jefferson Industrial Park. We see the litter. We get it picked up. We check it again next week. And the trash is back. Sometimes in piles. Repeat and repeat.


This litter check is one of Alliance President Lou Ann Nisbett’s least favorite tasks — mainly because there is no sense of accomplishment. It’s never done (kind of like dirty dishes and laundry).


“I’m just blown away by the amount of trash thrown out in the industrial park,” Nisbett said upon returning from her regular inspection trip last Friday. She meant “blown away” in a bad way.


“It’s just a terrible mess,” she added, explaining that it looked as if groups of people were eating fast-food lunches in the park and never thinking to use trash cans for the wrappers and containers.


Her blown-away feelings correspond to what the wind does to the litter, which may fall in one spot but is then bounced along on a breeze to land on neighboring properties and greenfield sites.


A continuously trash-free industrial park would really “blow her away.” In a good way. It would also allow more time to devote to those exciting economic development projects. And provide a more scenic drive in the park for everyone.


Put the trash in the cans, people.