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Old 07-06-08, 10:17 AM   #1
spinnaker
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Anyone else that gets sickened by the litter they see on their ride?

Riding some of the local roads is getting less and less enjoyable. The amount of litter along the roads is reaching epidemic portions.

Exactly what goes through the mind of someone that choses to throw their litter out of the car? Do they think it mysteriously disappears?

I saw it today. I was not on a ride but in my car. Hand comes out window and out comes a napkin. What a pig!

The really good and bad thing about cycling is you get to see the beauty of the road up close but you also get to see the ugliness too.


The question is what to do about it?

Do you report it? Will the police take it seriously? My guess nothing would be done.

Do you confront the person? Probably a good way of getting shot but I have done this in the past. In the two times I did it, I confronted the person semi-privately. I really wished I had brought it to the attention of others that were nearby. Humiliation can be pretty powerful. In the one instance, a guy had dumped his ashtray in the church parking lot / park and ride. I really regret not letting everyone at the bus stop and on the bus what he had done.


There really needs to be stricter punishment for littering. The chances of getting caught and someone doing something about it are slim. If it had a really stiff penalty and a few people were prosecuted then maybe people would think twice. Of course that is assuming that litterbugs actually have a brain.
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Old 07-06-08, 10:22 AM   #2
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You may not be old enough to remember how bad littering really got about thirty or more years ago.

When people throw stuff out the window now, you know what they say? "Oh, we have people who are paid to pick it up."
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Old 07-06-08, 11:59 AM   #3
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Anyone else that gets sickened by the litter they see on their ride?
Somewhat.

But that is tempered by the occasional gem that I find.
Hand Tools
Hats
Gloves (yes, occasionally I'll find both to a pair)
Found a nice fleece top once, in the wife's size
Lifejackets (I've found Type II, III and IV, adult and child sizes)
Fishing Lures (packs of soft plastics)
Lumber and PVC Pipe in assorted sizes to fit various projects
Etc.

Upon finding a dead armadillo in good condition, I once pedaled a mile back to pick up a whiskey bottle I had passed. Propped up the armadillo with the whiskey bottle on the side of the road. I thought it was funny, but it didn't last a day. The vultures thought it was delicious.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 07-06-08 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 07-06-08, 12:03 PM   #4
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Somewhat.

But that is tempered by the occasional gem that I find.
Hand Tools
Hats
Gloves (yes, occasionally I'll find both to a pair)
Found a nice fleece top once, in the wife's size
Lifejackets (I've found Type II, III and IV, adult and child sizes)
Fishing Lures (packs of soft plastics)
Lumber and PVC Pipe in assorted sizes to fit various projects
Etc.
Are you really "finding" all that stuff?
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Old 07-06-08, 12:14 PM   #5
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Are you really "finding" all that stuff?
Yep, right there on the road shoulder, free for the picking up. This isn't all at one time, but rather over a course of four years. Most of what's on that list I find periodically but repeatedly. The one thing I haven't found, yet, is a suitcase full of wrapped $1000 bills. But I'm still keeping an eye out for one. And I already know what I'm going to do with it when I find it.
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Old 07-06-08, 12:17 PM   #6
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I used to ride a bike trail mostly used by cyclists for cyclists, with a minority use by skaters, runners and the errant dirt bike using the trail illegally. The debris was sickening. I hoped the cyclists did not leave all the liter. What was the surpise was the opened condoms , I'd see spatered on the asphalt as I flew by.
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Old 07-06-08, 12:46 PM   #7
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Maybe he doesn't "find" the stuff so much as it falls off a contractor's truck or private party's truck?

I once found an almost-full box (100 pk) of disposable gloves.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:05 PM   #8
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You may not be old enough to remember how bad littering really got about thirty or more years ago.

When people throw stuff out the window now, you know what they say? "Oh, we have people who are paid to pick it up."
I am 49 and I really don't remember it ever being as bad as it has been lately. I'm guessing, the resources to clean up after these pigs are growing thin. Hence it makes it seem worse because it is allowed to build up.

If it makes everyone feel any better, this problem is not exclusive to the States. When I was in Italy the problem was pretty bad there too. The road to Pisa being the worst.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:10 PM   #9
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I used to ride a bike trail mostly used by cyclists for cyclists, with a minority use by skaters, runners and the errant dirt bike using the trail illegally. The debris was sickening. I hoped the cyclists did not leave all the liter. What was the surpise was the opened condoms , I'd see spatered on the asphalt as I flew by.
I find some litter along our local MUP (no condoms ), It amazes me that I should find any. This is a place that is supposed to be appreciated by those for a love of the outdoors. You think they would know better. I guess they never heard of the old backpacker's motto of "Take only your memories, leave only your footprints".

And cyclists do litter. We had one BF member that admitted that he disposed of his slime tubes by throwing them in a ditch. His reasoning, he did not want to mess up his wedge bag. I guess he cares nothing about the environment.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:12 PM   #10
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when i was a kid my dad would have us go and pick up litter along the road that leads to our house. nobody else is going to do it. if it bothers you so much, take a trash bag out there and fill it up on saturday. it won't kill ya.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:39 PM   #11
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I get sickened when I see my artwork on the side of the road.
I design graphics for packaging like coke, minute maid, hi-c, alcohol, etc.
I know it's not always the prettiest once the client gets done with it but c'mon man!
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Old 07-06-08, 03:40 PM   #12
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when i was a kid my dad would have us go and pick up litter along the road that leads to our house. nobody else is going to do it. if it bothers you so much, take a trash bag out there and fill it up on saturday. it won't kill ya.
Actually I was thinking just that earlier today. It would be a huge job on the one road alone. I guess it is not so much the litter that bothers me, it is more that some thoughtless person thinks it is OK to just toss it out the window.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:50 PM   #13
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I get sickened when I see my artwork on the side of the road.
I design graphics for packaging like coke, minute maid, hi-c, alcohol, etc.
I know it's not always the prettiest once the client gets done with it but c'mon man!
I was thinking that packaging, paper cups, bottles etc. should be tagged somehow. The store selling the items along with the manufacturer would be partly responsible for paying for cleanup. It would not solve the problem entirely but maybe it would reduce the problem. I know, such a program would be unrealistic to implement but I guess one can dream.


I would like to see deposit come back on bottles and cans. It would have to be something hefty like 50 cents a bottle to make it worth it to return opposed to throwing it out the window. And if they did throw it out, you can bet someone would pick it up. Same could be applied to paper cups.


Fast food restaurants could do this. Return X bags or cups for a free meal. It would make a great promotion.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:52 PM   #14
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I am 49...
Sorry, I'm just so used to being one of the old guys at work (yes, even at 36) and on a couple other forums..
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Old 07-06-08, 03:58 PM   #15
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My commute warrants puncture proof tyres as the area that used to be pristine is now seeing a lot of new development in the way of bars and clubs and the weekend revellers seem to think that smashing glass on the bike path is perfectly acceptable.

Besides that, our city is a rather tidy place although there are those areas that every big city has where I won't take my kids due to the needles and funny shaped balloons that are sometimes left lying about.
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Old 07-06-08, 04:29 PM   #16
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Anyone ever "return litter to sender"?
Funny that people throw garbage out that has their name, address, etc on it including pay stubs and mail mixed in with other stuff.
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Old 07-06-08, 04:29 PM   #17
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Well when its stuff like a paper napkin, banana peel, or anything else that will quickly biodegrade in the hot sun and all its no big deal. I could leave a banana peel on my lawn and it'd rot away in the hot weather within days. Though I do agree that the crap like plastic and stuff that people just throw out their windows is sick.
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Old 07-06-08, 04:53 PM   #18
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Well when its stuff like a paper napkin, banana peel, or anything else that will quickly biodegrade in the hot sun and all its no big deal. I could leave a banana peel on my lawn and it'd rot away in the hot weather within days. Though I do agree that the crap like plastic and stuff that people just throw out their windows is sick.

Some of the paper products seem to last forever. I am not sure what they put into those paper bags. If you want to drop a banana peel in your own front yard then do so, just don't do it on the side of the road.
Dog doo is biodegradable also but I don't want to see it in the middle of the MUP. Even though it is against the rules, there are still people that don't have enough courtesy to clean up after their dog.
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Old 07-06-08, 04:56 PM   #19
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Anyone ever "return litter to sender"?
Funny that people throw garbage out that has their name, address, etc on it including pay stubs and mail mixed in with other stuff.
One time I saw a couple of perfectly able bodied young ladies parked in a handicap parking space. That was enough to get me fuming. The the door opened and out dropped a cup. I walked up to he car, tapped on the window. One of the young ladies opened her door and I dropped the cup right in her lap.

Return to sender.
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Old 07-06-08, 05:05 PM   #20
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The dirty diapers aren't a good find, but people who discard KFC trash are sloppy eaters. Often leave a lot of meat on the bones. Yum! Someone threw away a perfectly good iPod Shuffle into the street. It had been run over by a car and the earphones were smashed but it still works perfectly, a few scratches on the front, the clip was smashed in, but I managed to straighten it out pretty well. I'm listening to it now! (with some new headphones)
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Old 07-06-08, 05:07 PM   #21
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Maybe he doesn't "find" the stuff so much as it falls off a contractor's truck or private party's truck?

I once found an almost-full box (100 pk) of disposable gloves.
It also blows out of the back of pick/ups and trailered boats. Plus the people that will sit something on top of the car to load something else, like the kids, then drive off with the thing still on top.

A forum friend on another forum lost a couple hundred dollars worth of duck decoys out of his boat last winter. Unfortunately I didn't find them. I could have used them, but would have given them back since I knew who lost them and how much they cost to replace.

With an insulating layer underneath, those disposable gloves make a good wind-breaker for the hands while riding when it's cold out.
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Old 07-06-08, 05:12 PM   #22
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i just got back from a ride in the park and i think i must have had these thread on my mind. all the people BBQing for the weekend just trash the place completely and then leave. and not just a stay plastic cup or paper plate, we're talking heaps of trash on the ground, in the bushes, plastic bags in the trees, soda\beer cans floating in the water. disgusting.

it mostly gets cleaned up by the park's department, and then gets trashed again the very next day.
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Old 07-06-08, 05:59 PM   #23
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when i was a kid my dad would have us go and pick up litter along the road that leads to our house. nobody else is going to do it. if it bothers you so much, take a trash bag out there and fill it up on saturday. it won't kill ya.
Thank you. I was reading this thread thinking the same thing. More than once we've come back with a bag of trash. Even keep a plastic shopping bag or two with the bike tools. If you roll them tightly they'll fit in a prescription bottle.

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Old 07-06-08, 06:12 PM   #24
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Thank you. I was reading this thread thinking the same thing. More than once we've come back with a bag of trash. Even keep a plastic shopping bag or two with the bike tools. If you roll them tightly they'll fit in a prescription bottle.

-Roger
It would take a lot more then that on the roads near my home. I guess what is sad that I could get the road cleaned up and a few days later it would be right back to where it started.

I do from time to time pick up trash along the MUP, if I happened to be stopped there. But the trash along the whole trail really does not amount to all that much.
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Old 07-06-08, 06:17 PM   #25
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I have been noticing detritis increasing as well. Not just people dropping soiled diapers, but stained mattresses and other stuff.
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