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One bourbon, One scotch, One beer

If that were all it were, I would probably be OK with it. However, I do have a problem with it, not with bourbons, scotches or beers, mind you, but with trash, pounds and pounds of trash. GarbageHaulSmallA couple of times a week, we have to walk our 800 feet of road frontage and pick up trash. A couple of times a year, our neighbors have to join together to do a much larger clean up. Seriously, in this day and age, littering is still a problem?

The trash we pick up ranges from the Big Gulp Styrofoam cups, McDonald’s sacks, every imaginable brand of soft drink cans, to an unfathomable number of beer cans, beer bottles, vodka bottles, whiskey bottles, etc. etc. etc. For the record, these alcohol bottles are empty and thrown from cars…and we have an open container law? There is even one guy that must have a serious problem because we find an empty pint bottle of Jim Beam every Monday. I even sat behind a red pickup the other day, when the driver opened the window of his cab, stuffed a bag of McDonald’s trash out of it and threw it, not into the bed of his truck, but right on the side of the road. My honk, only drew a one fingered salute. Seriously?

We live in one of the most picturesque parts of our city. A few minutes east of one the largest shopping malls and one of the busiest intersections in the state, you descend into beautiful wooded valley. Trees overhang the road on both sides, a creek meanders through meadows and yards. It is quiet (except for the speeders who think it is a drag race, but that is ANOTHER post), it feels as if you are out in the country, not a part of a major metropolitan area.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4ozVMxzNAA&w=420&h=315]

There are only a few houses in this area, so most of the cars are “passing through” on their way to one of the most affluent suburbs in the region. When I drive through those areas, I do not see roadside trash scattered on their manicured lawns, it seems as if, they have decided to literally trash our road instead of their own.  Where do they think that trash goes? Who do they think cleans it up? (btw, some ends up in our rivers and streams see my previous post  A Dishwasher, two hot water heaters, and a hide-a-bed )  Do they not care what it looks like to drive by miles of soft drink cups? Seriously?

I fantasize about tracking some of the litterers down and dumping their trash onto their lawn, but that would make me no better then them. I have thought about collecting the trash and building a monument for all to see, but then I would just have to look at it (and people would probably litter more). Seriously?

I really can’t think of a solution for ignorance. I can’t think of a way to make people care.  Until then, we will continue to pick up after them and pray they don’t wrap their car around one of our trees. Seriously!

If anything you read here or in other posts strikes a chord, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment, hit me up on Twitter (@jtongici), find me on LinkedIn, or Google +.

0 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    I’ve always believed (and therefore taught my children) that littering in the country is one of those “integrity” characteristics. It’s what you do when nobody’s looking that counts! More specifically, it’s a matter of respect. So sad. Love your writings, thank you.

  2. Linda
    Linda says:

    Late comer to the party 🙂 Didn’t know you had a regular blog, but love to read your musings. This one in particular is a thorn in my side…..I realize some things blow out by accident (if you have your windows down summertime!) but otherwise, if it’s not an apple core or the like, WHY????!!! Wrappers, bottles, cans, cups……truly makes me remember the crying Indian and hope others do as well. I will be a regular reader now, Jeff!

  3. Dave
    Dave says:

    I have often wondered what the solution may be. But my thoughts were the same as yours. I would love to know the answer to those who are to lazy to take their trash to the nearest containers. It does not take that much effort!

  4. Lynne Petty Stacey
    Lynne Petty Stacey says:

    This year, I have noticed quite a surge in trash along the roadside. It really makes me sick when I see all of it while out on a run. I usually come home with what I carry to throw away in my own trashcan. Have you heard of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful? They are doing a fantastic job with their outreach. I feel like I need to create a division for my own county.

    • Jeff Ton
      Jeff Ton says:

      KIB is tremendous! I have worked with them on various projects over the years.

      I agree, roadside trash is getting worse not better. I don’t understand why people think it is ok to just throw stuff out of the window. Would they throw it in their own yards?


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