They say first appearances make a lasting impression - and anyone driving into Ballymena for the first time along Cullybackey Road this week would have been wondering if a dump truck had overturned!
Right along the length of the road, the careless habits of passing motorists have been exposed by recent grass cutting.
This operation, which takes place at night, not only scythes down grass and weeds but inevitably chops thousands of items of litter into little pieces and scatters them all over the verges, pathways and, of course, the carriageway.
Last Tuesday morning, the extent of the mess was all too visible with garbage strewn from Ballymena right through to the outskirts of Cullybackey itself.
Plastic fast food cartons, nappies, all manner of papers and magazines were among the items churned up in the cutting exercise and left to blow in the wind.
One of the more amazing items found lying by the road was a discarded plaster of paris cast!
A local motorist told the Times: “People are rightly complaining about the state of our town centre - well if the Cullybackey Road is an example of how our roads are left after grass cutting then it is creating a very poor impression. Our litter habits must take most of the blame - you just would not see this in other countries.”
And he pointed out that some potentially dangerous items have been churned up.
“The cutting machines rip tin cans apart leaving jagged sharp edges,” he said. “These could cause injury or damage tyres on cars. You really have to see the mess to believe it.”