September 3, 2012

Labor Day Local Trash Pickup

litter along road
I can't stand trash along the roads I travel. It makes me crazy that I just go right out and pick it up when I can't take anymore!

This morning I headed out with my garbage picking equipment:
-roll of trash bags- my goal was to fill 6 today
-orange vest so I'm easily spotted- important since I live around a lot of blind bends
-some surgical gloves, courtesy of my RN husband- nice to not have to touch gross wet stuff
-my durable Merrells- stepping in a lot of mud and leaves requires some good shoes!
Since I've been honing my Photoshop skills, I created a map of exactly where I covered and left full bags (the township collects them within a day or so- I  have a great relative that lets them know when I've done my rounds):
Labor Day 2012 Trash Pickup
Even though my goal was to fill 6 bags, I only got to 5 because that's all that was left on the roll. Chalk that up to poor planning this time around!

Popular items tossed from moving vehicles in this area include:

-Water bottles, both full and empty. By the hundreds. Bottled water isn't healthier.  It's expensive. The empty bottles are everywhere. Ugh, if you do nothing else this year, please just QUIT IT with the bottled water. 

-McDonald's and Wendy's are clearly favorite fast food spots around these parts. In particular, Quarter Pounders and any super-sized drink- I know because I collected at least 20 of those cardboard containers and probably a hundred cups/tops/straws. Not only is the trash disgusting, but as an added bonus I gag thinking about someone eating so unhealthy, too!

-Beer cans and hard liquor bottles- Scary thought that peeps are drinking and driving and chucking the cans and bottles out the window! What these tend to lack in fullness they totally make up for with terrible smells.

One nice thing was that I got a lot of beeps and thank-you's- but I really wish people would just keep their trash in their car and toss it in a garbage can when they get wherever they're going! I've been cleaning up around here for the past 3 years and it keeps getting worse, so I'm starting to feel like some of those beepers and thankers might also be tossers!

OK, I'm done with the negative energy! I searched road clean ups when I got home, and found some support with a group called Road Trash Warriors:
Road Trash Warriors
I immediately signed up for it and then felt guilty as I read, "Road Trash Warriors are expected to rise above expressions of anger at their fellow man's callous or thoughtless road trashing actions." Point well taken!

One interesting contraption they mention as useful for picking up trash is this nifty bag holder:
Make Your Own Bag Holder
If you are a litter gitter yourself, you can find simple directions at Thrifty Fun to make one. I can attest to the fact that carrying the bag as it fills up can contort your fingers and fingernails, so this is a project I'll need to tackle before the next trash pick-up!

Also, I have a little pick-up to do on myself...

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