Shiny Happy People Holding Trash Bags

Posted 10 years ago by Evan Tishuk

Actually, I never really have the urge to litter, but it seems a lot of people can't fight the impulse to barf their garbage out the car window. This became very clear a few weeks ago when I started to observe a lot of roadside litter on my 15-mile commute into town. It just suddenly popped up. I hadn't taken particular notice before. Maybe it's the later sunsets allowing me to see real actual daylight while I drive. Or maybe they're just now cleaning all the debris from the ice storm back before Christmas. Or perhaps the bright green blades of sprouting grass provide more contrast between beer cans and nature.

Anyway, on Saturday while I was driving up and down scenic highway 11 hunting suitable street luge locations, I saw dozens of orange-clad litter collectors walking along the grassy shoulders. I thought they were a little insane to be ambling along a road that I routinely travel 20-30 mph above the posted limit. Then to my near astonishment, while coming back from Greenville that evening, I saw that the same people had made it to many other roadways. You could tell because there were hundreds of orange garbage bags on the roadside.

Based on my sample observations, the total square mileage of decontaminated road must be enormous. Either it was a large effort by many people or an inspired effort by a few (or I just happened to hit the only roads they cleaned). What's odd is that Earth day is about a month away and Saturday is a strange time for minors in possession and reckless drivers to be doing their community service en masse. What's the deal? Church group? Doc Brown actually created "Mr Fusion - Home Energy Reactor" for the DeLorean? Actually, I don't really care, it was just nice to see a clean road today.

I wonder how long it will last. I also wonder if the broken window theory applies here. Aside from looking nicer (and, yeah, I really did notice it), could the relatively small task of keeping the roads clean of litter have a larger effect on, say, drunk driving or speeding or ... future littering? Maybe removing litter is worth a lot more than just looking clean.

Either way, Thanks superhuman- roadside- litter- removal- people.

8 Comments

nobrainer ~ 10 years ago

My experience with Adopt-A-Highway shocked me. I couldn't believe how much of the trash was empty beer containers.

At that time I was still a bit naive about drinking on the road.

Anyway, obviously open container laws have created an incentive to dispose of beer cans and bottles ASAE (as soon as empty).

Evan Tishuk ~ 10 years ago

Does Adopt-A-Highway just pick a day and go nuts on 60 miles of highway?

nobrainer ~ 10 years ago

Hell no. In our case, we couldn't muster our 2 mile stretch more than once every 3 or 4 years.

But perhaps those folks in charge of it finally decided to make people work to keep their little signs up.

olivier blanchard ~ 10 years ago

I guess without litterbugs, those bright little orange-caped armies of volunteers wouldn't get to score some of those environmentally-charged karmic points.

So next time you spot someone throwing a beer can or cheese paper out of their pickup truck's window, make sure to stop them at the next red light and thank them.

Jim ~ 10 years ago

The Cliffs Communities has adopted a 2 mile stretch running past our new corporate office and down to the enterance of our new Mountain Park community.

Matter of fact, we're due to clean it this Friday. Fun thing was that I noticed a large amount of litter in this very area just months ago. Of course, me being Mr. Joe Volunteer, I thought we The Cliffs should adopt it. Someone beat me to it, but at least I'll be there pitching in.

I did notice a large amount of beer cans. I suspect there will me more beer cans than anything else, so I'm going to try and figure a way to get them recycled.

On a similar note, The Cliffs should have its first recycling pilot program at the corporate office in the next month or so. Then, I hope it will spread to all communities.

Evan Tishuk ~ 10 years ago

G.I. Jim -- The real american hero!

Jim ~ 10 years ago

F.U. Evan - The real american butthole.

Jim ~ 10 years ago

Oh, I also pitched in today at Safe Harbor. If you've got some old clothes with no holes or stains then consider dropping them off at their
Safe Harbor Hope Chest Resale store. It's in
the Bi-lo shopping center near N. Pleasantburg Road and Rutherford Road. Whatever they sell goes to support shelters for battered women. Orangecoat and women in violent relationships will say "thank you, for your support".

For reservations, call office(800) 890-1702. Send fan mail to our work location at 101 N Main Street, Third Floor, Greenville, SC 29601 USA 34.850823 -82.398746
Lovingly crafted by orangecoat with some rights reserved, and a promise not to spam you.

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