I'm normally a bicyclist, and while I have noticed litter on the side of the roads from my bike far more than I did from a car, I just became aware of the magnitude of the problem. Surgery in early June required me to to start walking, and as I walked, I found the amount of litter on the roads horrifying.

I started carrying a 13-gallon ("tall kitchen") garbage bag and picking up litter. Walking on Stagecoach Road in Upper Township from Church Road to Magnolia, I picked up 11 full trash bags in 11 days, not to mention items too large to put in the garbage bag. I carried them in the other hand.

Numerically, cigarette butts are the No. 1 item thrown on the road, but drink containers - beer and soda cans, plastic bottles and paper containers for coffee, soda, etc. - make up most of the bulk.

Cigarette boxes are No. 2 , which led me to wonder if a smoker's mindset is that if it's OK to throw out a butt, then it's OK to throw out a cigarette box. And if it's OK to throw a cigarette box, it must be OK to throw everything out the car window.

Weekly newspapers that are not picked up also make up a surprising amount of trash on the roads, and once they get waterlogged, they're heavy.

I would like to propose two suggestions:

No matter where you live, it is feasible for walkers to pick up trash. Why not start a pick-up brigade, even if it's a one-person brigade - you? Just carry a plastic grocery bag. If every walker would pick up just a few bottles, cigarette boxes, snack bags, etc., in a couple of months your roads would be clean of litter.

Secondly, if every homeowner, and particularly those whose houses are far back from the road, would just spend a few minutes every week or two cleaning up their road frontage, this would help a lot.

LEONARD P. SMITH

Marmora