Litter and Butts

My friend Katie and I were walking to lunch downtown this week and out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman, probably in her late 40s, drop an empty water bottle onto the sidewalk on Washington St. as she started to get into her car. Her car was 20 feet from a garbage can.

Without even thinking about what I was doing I shouted, “Nice!” and stomped 15 feet to pick up the bottle and drop it into the trashcan while she and the man she was with watched. I HATE LITTER! I have no idea how someone gets to the point that they think it is okay to drop their crap for someone else to pick up, and several neighborhood cleanups have just made me angrier about it.

I was especially surprised that she felt comfortable just dropping her bottle on the sidewalk at lunchtime in front of God and everybody. She was kind of large so maybe the walk would have been a pain and she looked like she had trouble breathing, but she could have asked her friend to help OR just taken the empty container with her so that she could throw it away at home. I wanted to say, “This is where you and I live! Show some pride in your community!”

As Katie and I discussed the scene (which believe me could have been much more of a scene if I’d taken a notion to make it one), she talked about another person we know who berated a woman for nearly hitting him with a cigarette butt that she randomly flicked to dispose of, nearly hitting him, also on crowded public street. If you want to see my sweetie get mad, do this in front of him. He hates the way smokers treat the world as their ashtray, and I’m tired of it, too. Anyway, I hate litter.

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4 Comments on “Litter and Butts”

  1. Susan Says:

    Agreed. It really ticks me off with smokers.

  2. Citizen D Says:

    Don’t really want to be duplicative, but I don’t understand why some people just throw their trash out for others to deal with. Seriously. I agree with John about smokers. They generally think that the world is their ashtray. I’ve known few exceptions.

  3. Mark Dodge Says:

    Big butt problem here in the beach areas of San Diego. What bothers me is the city seems to tolerate it. I have contacted the police department to get statistics on tickets written for this type of litter. They tell me they don’t keep track of it and that it is generally not a high priority as most of the violators won’t pay the fines and it costs a lot to administer the process. San Diego has banned smoking in beaches and parks but rarely enforces it and is way behind in posting signs.

    I think the city should just make smoking illegal in all public places. If the tobacco industry wants to change that they should come to the city council, hat in hand, with a plan to police the littering, designate public areas where second hand smoke will not be a problem and explain to the public how all this will be funded. The current situation is nothing more than a subsidized venue for an activity that most people do not like and is harmful to not only its participants but the general public as well.

  4. Don Says:

    I certainly appreciate your comments regarding the litter in the streets and how people don’t realize that we are living in, “community,” thus, we share the same living room. While I read this I thought of what goes on in my neighborhood and how the motto of so many of those who share the community live on the notion that, “the world is my latrine.”


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