Sunday, April 19, 2009

Litter Rant

I'm going to go off on a little rant here, I'm sorry to say. You see, The Kitten and I went for a bike ride last week along the winding country roads that make up this most exquisite part of Maryland's Eastern Shore where we live. In the process, we got an up close and personal look at the ridiculous amount of litter thrown along the sides of these beautiful roads, a view you just don't get from your tank-like SUV or your sleek four door sedan.

So we resolved last week that we'd do something about it. Today, the Kitten and I and her two little girls staked out a portion of a road--maybe a half-mile or so--and simply picked up every piece of garbage we could find. Four big trash bags later (all we brought) we hadn't finished the job. It was disgusting. Cans, bottles, feminine products, fast food wrappers, you name it, someone had thrown it out of his or her car window.

What is this, the 70's all over again? Do we need another crying Indian Chief to remind us that you shouldn't throw litter out of your car window? Who are these people? What in the world would prompt them to do it? I'm no environmental freak but my goodness, this just doesn't make sense.

And you know who really gets me? It's the smokers. Well--the littering smokers, at least. I'm not a big anti-smoking guy, but I am anti-litter. Are you telling me that the stinking tobacco you put in your mouth and light on fire, which then makes your clothes and hair smell, is somehow an inappropriate smell for your car? Are you nuts? Putting aside for a second the fire hazard associated with carelessly throwing a cigarette butt out the window, what is so damn hard about snuffing it out in your own ash tray and then dumping the ash tray in a trash can--you know, the one you failed to throw your Bud can in a mile back.


Ken Adams said...

I'm convinced that people are pigs. Our Cub Scout pack regularly cleans the roadside for about 2 miles in our small town, and we find the nastiest things in the trash. Probably most disturbing is that we often find syringes and miniature ziploc bags along with the beer bottles and cans.

PW said...

These same people you described probably want a govt agency to clean the roads. Seriously. Would that be too much to ask for? We pay enough taxes. These taxes go to all sorts of junk that do not touch any of us. Why not a litter picking up department to pick up my environmentally friendly coffee cup or water bottle.

Al Eichmabier said...

Isn't it a little more than disturbing that so many beer cans and beer bottles are alongside a vehicular thoroughfare? You don't find closed/full ones do you? It's that damned open container law that's causing all this litter.

Dan said...

Glad I read the entire post. I saw the title and thought CW had decided to write about the "Octo-Mom" again.

Anonymous said...

It ain't just Maryland pal! I can't talk for the mid or far west but here in the southeast and northeast it's a real disgrace. Every state along the east coast I have visited the past few years (with a slight exception of Delaware) the roadways are deplorable with discarded materials. Here in North Carolina we at one time had prison gangs cleaning up until the ACLU claimed the process was not civil.
Dear ol Dad

Anonymous said...

Bryan, did you really pick up 'feminine products' ?

CCE said...

For many years, our family practice has been to take an extra grocery bag with us on walks with our dog -- one for poop and one for litter. We've taught our kids not to walk past a piece of trash.

What I found most disgusting was the hideous array of litter at the inauguration. There were thousands of cardboard trash boxes all over the mall -- nearly impossible to miss them -- yet there were water bottles, papers, food wrappers strewn all around the mall. Given the crowd there and its likely liberal environmentalist leanings, I had expected something different. As we left with our kids (we had a group of six with us) we made a straight line and picked up everthing in our paths. People watched us, yet did not mimic us.

So my supposition is that perhaps the decades of entitlement programs and the decline of personal responsibility has morphed into either the inability or the complete lack of awareness that one must pick up after oneself.

This is a problem.

Anonymous said...

One of the posters seems to accuse leftist of littering; perhaps he is correct. However, why is difficult to find any trash on the roads in liberal Europe? Although it is not as litter free as it was before the wall came down, it is still pretty darn orderly.

To the folks that help police up our public areas on a regular basis, thanks, we should all follow your lead. JPH

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