Each day Jim and I walk the neighborhood. We have a set route of a mile and a half that we walk in a leisurely twenty-five minutes, unless it’s trash day. I don’t mean the day the big truck empties our trash cart. I mean the day I pick up trash in the neighborhood.
It’s only been in the last year and a half that things have gone to the dogs around here. And I’m not sure why, but I have a theory that doesn’t hold much water.
People are thirsty.
I pick up a Styrofoam cup. Another two feet away, I pick up the lid. Then I pick up the straw.
I pick up water bottles and plastic soda bottles and beer cans. Some are half full. Well, the beer cans are empty.
Then there is the plastic chocolate milk bottle along with a white donut sack. I pick those items up and wonder about the person who treats himself to this breakfast once a week and disposes of the trash on one specific corner.
I pick up those little liquor bottles, the type we used to call airplane bottles. Here I can really rant. Why does the new Walgreens (formerly May’s Drug) now put those little bottles by the check out, not behind glass, but right there in the open, and not on the check out counter itself, but across from it, on the shelving that creates the checkout lane? I’m guessing Walgreens loses quite a few bottles to shoplifting by a young crowd.
I talked to a manager there, and she says some people buy those little bottles on their lunch hours, drink them, then go back to work. She forgot a step. After they drink them, they throw the evidence out the car window.
I’m sick and tired of people littering. What kind of person does that? What type of person has no respect for their surroundings or the property of others? What to do? Am I encouraging this behavior by picking up the litter? If the litterbugs see that their leavings are gone, do they not hesitate to toss things down again, knowing someone will pick things up? Or by trying to keep things picked up, am I avoiding the tipping point where others will think it’s fine to litter?
I don’t know the answer.