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Friday, September 13, 2013

Roadside Rubbish

After writing yesterday's blog about rubbish, recycling bins and garbage collections my thoughts turned to roadside rubbish. When Riding a pushbike to work across the river (a trip of about 7-8 kilometres) the relatively slow progress and proximity to the ground allows for easy observation. Because it's a lot safer to travel close to the verge your eyes take in not only the foliage on the roadside but the contents of it and the table drain.

The build up of humanity sourced rubbish is incredible. I don't know how long it takes for some of the more perishable items to break down or discolour so that they disappear into the background or are overgrown but there seems to be such a mass of freshly discarded material. These roads aren't that busy which means a hell of a lot of people are tossing material out of their vehicles on a regular basis.

Over the decades there have been numerous campaigns to stop or reduce litter and yet rather than the occasional yobbo tossing it seems like a plague. There are some categories of litter that stand out than most:

Cigarette packets
Alcohol containers
Soft Drink containers
Fast food containers

I wonder if that tells us something about the mental state of the litter bugs? Does the intake of smoke, alcohol, sugar and fat befuddle and confuse the mind?

I'm in two minds about the Clean Up Australia campaign. On one hand if it wasn't there we would be swallowed up in a mountain of discarded junk. And of course it does bring the issue to the headlines and possibly encourage responsible behaviour. On the other hand does it encourage the tossers to think that some one else will clean it up? Or is it that there is a percentage of the population that just cannot change their behaviour?

One thought was to bring about a police state where the councils employed rangers to aggressively target Tossers. The fines could pay for the rangers salaries and as well as fines the guilty would receive a mandatory number of hours community service and forced to clean up a certain number of metres of roadside. Successive offenses would escalate the number of hours.

But that's just a dream.

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