Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This is one of my big pet peeves. I never really noticed it much when I lived in a city, maybe because I only had to maintain a small city lot and because the street sweepers came through on a regular basis. Now that we live on a large farm on a small country road, I'm very aware of litter along our road. The county doesn't have a large budget so we don't have street sweepers and we don't have trash pickup. Trash stays on the roadside until the property owners pick it up. Dumpsters are strategically placed at various sites throughout the county, mostly on private property, and residents haul their weekly accumulation of garbage to these dumpsters. We once allowed a dumpster on our property. No more. Why? Because people abused the privilege. We would find trash tossed IN FRONT OF the dumpster; people were too lazy to stop and put it inside. And if the dumpster was full, they would continue to pile garbage on top to the point that it would spill out.

When we first moved here and the weather was nice, I enjoyed putting my dog on a leash and walking a mile or so down our road. I had to stop because I found myself getting angry at the garbage people tossed from their moving vehicles - fast food wrappers, dirty diapers, beer cans, soda bottles...I started taking plastic bags to collect this garbage. The sad thing is that all of this was within 1/2 mile of a dumpster. To make it worse, these are regulars, people who travel our road on a daily basis so they knew the dumpster was there. You see, our road is not a main road; only people who live in the area are likely to take this route. And I could tell that at least two of the individuals drove past our farm on a daily basis. How did I know this? Because I found two different brands of beer and at least five of each every week (the drinking and driving is a scary topic on it's own). What really gets me is that if you asked these individuals about where they live, they would proudly proclaim that they are country people, they love living in the country, and they cannot understand how anyone could live in the city. So why do they trash it?! Like Dante, I imagine various circles of hell and I believe there is a special place for those who litter. (Photo from:


Deanna said...

Oh, do I ever relate to this post. Several times a year we walk the two sides of our property that front roads (we have 40 acres on a corner) and pick up trash. Bags of it. These are not through streets so the trash has to come from people who live around here. I keep threatening to install a camera, find out who's littering and then dump all the trash I pick up in their front yard.

Fast food cups and bags, Skoal cans and beer cans seem to make up a huge proportion of the trash. Ever notice that you never see organic food or drink packaging on the side of the road?

I started a quasi-serious political group on Facebook called "The Party Party". Part of my *platform* is to make littering a felony. ;)

Cherie said...

Ah, could I forget the Skoal cans. It does seem to be a small sliver of society who does the majority of littering around here. I'll have to look for The Party Party.