District residents who are for or against the proposed bottle bill need to do some serious thinking before casting their vote in November.

Strip away the politics and the emotions and you are left with a city with 350 sanitation workers who work seven days a week to empty 3,000 litter cans and clean thousands of miles of streets. And Joe O'Donnell's crew does a good job, but . . . .

Their $72,000 street-cleaning machine can only be used in areas like around the White House where there is no parking at night; the commercial corridors like Pennsylvania Avenue, H Street, Rhode Island Avenue and New Hampshire get a good sweeping almost every night or day but neighborhoods one block away do not; and policemen understandably concentrate on dope and other crimes and not on enforcing sanitation laws.

Is the bottle bill the answer? Maybe, as the second step. The first step should be the enforcement of D.C. Law 6-100, the "Litter Control Administration Act of 1985," which went into effect March 25, 1986.

This bill decriminalizes the various sanitation laws and allows for the posting of notices of violations, civil fines and an adjudication system. It gives the mayor, through his Department of Public Works, more enforcement power -- the power to make residents take care of their nonresidential property by using proper containers and preventing this property from becoming a nuisance. . . .

Let's enforce the laws already on the books before starting on new laws. We might not need another law. Think about it.