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CNY rider
03-23-2009, 08:34 AM
Here's my tally on a 4 mile stretch of beautiful, open road that goes through mostly farm land on my way to work this morning:

5 beer containers, mix of bottles/cans
2 soda cans
5 food packaging wrappers, mainly chips etc.
2 fast food bags and wrappers, looked like McD's

What's up with that? Why would somebody just heave their junk out the window and think it's magically gone?
Why the correlation with beer and fast food?
It just irritates me, and was a downer to an otherwise nice early morning ride. :confused:

victoryfactory
03-23-2009, 08:42 AM
It could be normal post winter buildup from snow cover and runoff.
It will decrease as the roads remain snow free for a while.
Try riding in NYC for 35 years.


Sheeshh.

VF

TimD
03-23-2009, 08:47 AM
I notice this all the time and it drives me nuts.

PCR
03-23-2009, 08:56 AM
Out of sight, out of mind. It's a mind set unfortunately. :butt:

Sandy
03-23-2009, 08:56 AM
Was walking my dog in the woods about a week ago along a gas line behind some homes. Saw one small section, near a stream that runs through the woods, in which there was a lot of trash- soda or beer cans, food wrappers,....It really made the section look so ugly and I wondered why people would do that. It really stood out and looked so much worse than I even thought it could.


Sandy

csm
03-23-2009, 09:26 AM
people suck. it's just embarassing to see.

skijoring
03-23-2009, 10:02 AM
Tragedy of the Commons. :crap:

girlie
03-23-2009, 10:08 AM
The other day I saw a UPS truck driver open his door and throw out a drink cup. It confuses me to no end.

girlie

paulh
03-23-2009, 10:18 AM
Some people are just pigs in more respects than litter. Yes, I've seen the usual + litter buildup over the winter. Other examples:

My wifes employer has the nicest health club facilities I've ever seen. State of the art everything. Wooden electronic lockers, private shower stalls, nice towels and washclothes provided. The result: towels and washclothes strewn everywhere like 4 year olds. They think mom will be coming by to pick up after them.

At my office there is a shared microwave with another office. "Spaghetti boy", who has not been caught in the act yet, comes in and the red sauce just explodes everywhere. Does he clean it up? Naw! Cover it with wax paper.... doesn't cross his mind. And then others come in and heat their stuff up without a basic wipe down and it further welds on the pasta sauce. Nice goin'!!!!

konstantkarma
03-23-2009, 10:20 AM
The other day I saw a UPS truck driver open his door and throw out a drink cup. It confuses me to no end.

girlie

Get his truck number and report him Girlie! Most employers are very responsive to reports of their employees besmirching their reputations.

konstantkarma
03-23-2009, 10:26 AM
On my Saturday ride...admittedly on a busy state highway (not that that's an excuse), I saw 3 full cases of beer bottles tossed on the side of the road. My theory is that beer cans and bottles get tossed because of open container penalties. The problem gets worse near the end of the high school school year around here. Also, the quality of the beer bottles/cans gets worse towards the end of the school year.

The amount of trash I see on the sides of the road was one of the hardest things to get "used to" after moving to Maryland from Colorado. There seems to be a larger environmental blindspot in these parts :confused: .

William
03-23-2009, 10:35 AM
How many of you pick up the trash that you find?

Just askiní

I routinely pick up beer bottles, cans, plastic wine bottles (who drinks that crap?), and fast food litter on my road. I live in a more rural area and my road is one of the major cycling routes out into the country. I just try to do my part to make my area, and the area for local cyclists to cruise through a little better.




William


PS: I would love to catch these folks in the actÖitís hard to throw trash out the window when your arm is in a cast and your fingers are in splints. :butt: :D

csm
03-23-2009, 10:48 AM
my other related peeve is the a**holes that use the outside world as their ashtrays. for that reason alone I think smoking should be outlawed and punishable by a beatdown.
in fact, I think if you witness littering and/or butt-throwing or even ash-tapping out the window it should fall within your rights to follow the offender home and administer corporal punishment.
and I'm only half-kidding.

Steevo
03-23-2009, 10:52 AM
My observation is that its always bad this time of year as the snow melts. With budgets tight, the roads may not be as well maintained as in the past. Time to get those "community service" crews out there cleaning up the mess. Seriously though, its unfathomable to me to ever think of throwing stuff out the car window.

As far as cleaning the stuff up, its tough to do while one is out riding on the roads, but when hiking, I always carry out random trash from the woods.

johnnymossville
03-23-2009, 10:56 AM
I took a walk with my daughters down to the Drug Store the other day and the sides of the road were absolutely disgusting. I think it's time to organize a neighborhood clean-up crew. This stuff is just nuts.

Bernie
03-23-2009, 10:58 AM
not offered as an excuse, but only as an explanation.....

our state dept. of transportation has been taking a beating (as many around the country) with the current budget woes. All state agencies have been searching for ways to pull stuff out of their budgets. This has impacted their use of funds for right of way maintenance, including litter pickup, mowing, etc. Locally, the maintenance folks have told us they have taken litter removal out of any contract maintenance they do and are also not doing any litter pickup themselves.

I imagine that might change when mowing season starts since you can't mow over some of the stuff safely....but then again maybe they won't be mowing. In any regard the lack of funding for road maintenance has had a visible impact in regard to litter.

cody.wms
03-23-2009, 11:01 AM
When I was in middle Tennessee, on some roads I would routinely see gas tanks thrown by the roadside. Clusters of two or three in the ditch.

It always puzzled me until I found out what they really were. It turns out that gas tanks make good containers for making meth in.

Skrawny
03-23-2009, 11:02 AM
I once went on a cycling date with a 20-something lawyer in San Francisco.
All was going well, she looked gooood in lycra.
Then, while at a rest stop (this was NOT a competitive ride) she went to unwrap her bottled water, and just let the plastic wrapper fall from her hands onto the ground and blow away.

Instant deal breaker.

I remember watching it blow away and then looking up and seeing her read the disapproval on my face. She knew it was over.

-s

girlie
03-23-2009, 11:07 AM
I once went on a cycling date with a 20-something lawyer in San Francisco.
All was going well, she looked gooood in lycra.
Then, while at a rest stop (this was NOT a competitive ride) she went to unwrap her bottled water, and just let the plastic wrapper fall from her hands onto the ground and blow away.

Instant deal breaker.

I remember watching it blow away and then looking up and seeing her read the disapproval on my face. She knew it was over.

-s

:D Sorry but there is something really funny about this story....it's so tragic without being tragic at all.

girlie

Volant
03-23-2009, 11:30 AM
The thing that blows my mind is that we shouldn't even need clean-up crews. Why do some people think the world is their ashtray or garbage can?
Whenever I see someone flick their still-lit cig-butt out their car window I want to pick it up and flick it back in the car while stating, "You dropped this."
I just don't get it.

It's kind of like shopping carts (called buggies down here); return them to the store or an outside corral.

Sandy
03-23-2009, 11:44 AM
I once went on a cycling date with a 20-something lawyer in San Francisco.
All was going well, she looked gooood in lycra.
Then, while at a rest stop (this was NOT a competitive ride) she went to unwrap her bottled water, and just let the plastic wrapper fall from her hands onto the ground and blow away.

Instant deal breaker.

I remember watching it blow away and then looking up and seeing her read the disapproval on my face. She knew it was over.

-s

I was waiting for the point at which she apologized and unwrapped her "looked gooood in lycra", and let it fall from her hands onto the ground and blow away.....Instant deal maker. She knew it was on again. :)


Sandy

R2D2
03-23-2009, 11:48 AM
I've seen some "riders" drop energy wrappers all over the road.
They do it in the TDF as evey little scarp is somebody's momento.
But have some respect and take your trash.

I've been known to drop a banana peel. Is that litter?

William
03-23-2009, 11:54 AM
I've seen some "riders" drop energy wrappers all over the road.
They do it in the TDF as evey little scarp is somebody's momento.
But have some respect and take your trash.


I've been known to drop a banana peel. Is that litter?


No, but you know what this guy is going to do with it don't you?!?!? :no:


http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/6715/squirrel2cy5.jpg





William

Kevan
03-23-2009, 12:05 PM
I've been known to drop a banana peel. Is that litter?

unless you happen to live where bananas grow.

I hardly follow that rule, but litter really frosts me. As long as the item has a speedy biodegradable nature to it, I'm fine with tossing apple cores and banana peels. Newspapers, cups and such...absolutely not.

I was traveling in the car with a work colleague who upon finishing her morning coffee, rolled down her window, and tossed her spent cup. I lit into her in no uncertain terms that what she did was nothing short of disgusting and supremely lazy. Where is the pride in our countryside? Bad enough it's scarred by highways, but to add to the ugliness?

Now see what you did? You got me all into a lather? Where do I discard that???

TimD
03-23-2009, 12:07 PM
How many of you pick up the trash that you find?



All the time. Strangely no one seems bothered by the fact that I have a tallboy can of PBR or, more frequently, Busch Light in my otherwise-empty bottle cage...

SoCalFred
03-23-2009, 12:44 PM
Interesting to see above mentioned tally of litter along the side of the road.

I must post the question though....are we cyclists any better than the other average litter tossers?

Over the weekend I did the Great Western loop here in San Diego and made a similar game of counting the empty quick fill cartridges and blown tubes along the way. I quit counting after 20 cause it wasn't funny any more. And the ride was only 50 miles or so!

When I spent a lot more time on a mountain bike the user group was very self conscious of such littering but some roadies don't seem to mind at all.

I still spend a fair amount of time riding trails but don't see many tubes or other trash left by that user group.

What's up with this? Why can't we all leave less trash on the side of the road?

johnnymossville
03-23-2009, 12:51 PM
...What's up with this? Why can't we all leave less trash on the side of the road?

You are right, I've been in races where guys toss stuff all the time, littering beautiful PA Amish Country with their crap. They generally do get reamed from other racers, but people still do it unfortunately.

csm
03-23-2009, 12:59 PM
I saw a lot of bike-related crap on the side of the road during last year's ragbrai. I don't think you can point to any one demographic and say they do or they don't. I don't. if more were like me (and most of us on here I'd venture to guess) then it would not be as big a problem.
I remember reading though about some famous enviromentalist who regularly tossed cans aside. he said compared to the paved and unpaved roads crossing the country, at least the can would eventually decompose.

konstantkarma
03-23-2009, 01:04 PM
Tons of gel pack wrappers etc. on the Triple Bypass last year. You'd think those riders would appreciate living and riding in such such a beautiful place! :no:

tab123
03-23-2009, 01:17 PM
I rode in Las Vegas last week (Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire, and River Mountains Trail near Lake Mead). The amount of litter on the roadside was astounding. (I live in Chicago so I should be used to litter.) In researching the rides, the website for River Mountains Trail discussed problems with people who use the desert as their garbage dump. We saw lots of bags of garbage lying in the desert. As one person said, this illustrates the problem with the commons.

morty
03-23-2009, 04:30 PM
Whenever I see someone flick their still-lit cig-butt out their car window I want to pick it up and flick it back in the car while stating, "You dropped this."
I just don't get it.


A few years back, my boyfriend saw a couple sitting inside their car at a fast food restaurant parking lot when one of them tossed a half-empty shake out the window onto the pavement. He walked over, picked up the shake, which was now leaking out all over, and pitched it back inside their car saying "You dropped this."

While I wouldn't recommend this risky approach, especially if you're as skinny and near-sighted as my boyfriend, it did give him a nice, warm fuzzy feeling :)

Unfortunately, some cyclists are just as piggy as their beer-guzzling, cigarette-puffing, junkfood-munching brothers & sisters :no:

Peter P.
03-23-2009, 06:28 PM
Yeah; trash steams me, too.

I won't bore you with the details, but I wound up being the sole volunteer for our city's Adopt A Park program beginning in January last year. My task is to hike the trails of my town's preeminent park about once a week and pick up trash. It's the park I cut my mountain biking teeth in. I then send an e-mail report to a city commission and a town councilor. I take a photo of the full garbage bag, just to give them an idea of how much people litter on the trails.

With each piece of trash I pick up, I get even more P.O.'d. But when I finish, my hatred tends to turn into a little self gratification because I did something good.

So, when you're on a ride and you stop for any reason, make it a point to pick up or properly dispose of one piece of trash. It'll make you feel good and it's likely more than the next guy picked up. I'm not posting to glorify myself but sorta to say you have to bite the bullet and do something about it once in a while.

Here's me in action-that's a chainsaw in my backpack, by the way-ya' gotta have a little fun! ;-) :

Lurch
03-23-2009, 06:33 PM
Adopt a mile programs are pretty low key to maintain if you can get a decent sized group to split up the work. Doing it at least quarterly is a big improvement for some areas, and only takes a couple hours of time.

I guess one thing to appreciate about Alabama, chain gangs that clean up hiway garbage.

Sandy
03-23-2009, 07:00 PM
A few years back, my boyfriend saw a couple sitting inside their car at a fast food restaurant parking lot when one of them tossed a half-empty shake out the window onto the pavement. He walked over, picked up the shake, which was now leaking out all over, and pitched it back inside their car saying "You dropped this."

While I wouldn't recommend this risky approach, especially if you're as skinny and near-sighted as my boyfriend, it did give him a nice, warm fuzzy feeling :)

Unfortunately, some cyclists are just as piggy as their beer-guzzling, cigarette-puffing, junkfood-munching brothers & sisters :no:

Your boyfriend is either one tough fearless dude, or he ran track in school. :)


Sandy

Ahneida Ride
03-23-2009, 07:40 PM
The thing that blows my mind is that we shouldn't even need clean-up crews. Why do some people think the world is their ashtray or garbage can?
Whenever I see someone flick their still-lit cig-butt out their car window I want to pick it up and flick it back in the car while stating, "You dropped this."
I just don't get it.

It's kind of like shopping carts (called buggies down here); return them to the store or an outside corral.

Today ... It's all about ME ... The ME, instant gratification society ...

People seldom think of secondary consequences

Louis
03-23-2009, 09:06 PM
Not litter, but road kill bugs me even more.

I feel really sorry for the little buggers and if they aren't squashed too badly I stop the bike and toss them over to the side so they can decompose in peace. I feel kind of guilty, since I too am a driver, but I do my best to avoid the critters.

If it's a turtle trying to cross then I'll stop the car (or bike) and try to figure out where they are headed and give them a lift.

Earlier this year there was a freshly hit deer in the middle of the opposite lane so I stopped the bike and tossed the carcass over the fence (I'd say it was about 75 lbs) into the woods.

I know it's kind of sick, but I feel better if they aren't being subjected to the indignity of being run over and over and over.

Dust to dust.

Louis

konstantkarma
03-24-2009, 10:33 AM
Careful Louis. I once tried to help a 20" snapper across the road and almost lost a hand! Someone told me how to pick them up, but I forgot!

The squirrels are on their own :D .

Not litter, but road kill bugs me even more.

I feel really sorry for the little buggers and if they aren't squashed too badly I stop the bike and toss them over to the side so they can decompose in peace. I feel kind of guilty, since I too am a driver, but I do my best to avoid the critters.

If it's a turtle trying to cross then I'll stop the car (or bike) and try to figure out where they are headed and give them a lift.

Earlier this year there was a freshly hit deer in the middle of the opposite lane so I stopped the bike and tossed the carcass over the fence (I'd say it was about 75 lbs) into the woods.

I know it's kind of sick, but I feel better if they aren't being subjected to the indignity of being run over and over and over.

Dust to dust.

Louis

fiamme red
03-24-2009, 12:08 PM
I see a lot of trash on remote country roads, far from any houses or trailers or stores. It's not hikers and cyclists who are dumping beer cans and McDonald's bags by the side of the road, it's people in cars. Most littering is done from motor vehicles, not from sidewalks. When people travel on foot, they don't carry food long distances from fast-food outlets. Most of the litter will therefore stay within a small radius of where it originates. It's somewhat difficult to eat while walking anyway. Most people who are on foot prefer to stop and eat.

The reason why automobiles turn people into litterbugs is probably that automobiles go fast and disconnect people from their surroundings. A person who is on foot or on a bike is a part of the environment and can sense the trash by the side of the road. It doesn't whip by in an indistinguishable blur. Plus it's just harder to carry a lot of stuff when you don't use a car.

Kevan
03-24-2009, 12:46 PM
Careful Louis. I once tried to help a 20" snapper across the road and almost lost a hand! Someone told me how to pick them up, but I forgot!

The squirrels are on their own :D .

grabbing the tail and a rear leg works. The big ones weigh too much for me. I've moved a turtle or two myself.

May 2nd for many towns is clean up day. I got a call just the other day reminding me. So the plan is to do my morning ride and then stop by town hall for my bags, have lunch and then hit the curb.

WadePatton
03-24-2009, 09:02 PM
Irked by litter as well.

Keeping it short here: I routinely pick up others' litter, mostly from autos, but ESPECIALLY from bike trails-where we always share the trail with someone and have a land manager to appease as well.

And I simply don't care to see it.

And and I don't get it. I simply don't get the mentality of pitching something out the window without remorse (unless you're removing evidence or trying to hit a target. ;) ).

My truck is full of bottles and wrappers just because I pick them again up when they fall out of the open doors. :banana: note to self

it's everywhere. I'll also note that I've never been to a public access fishing site where I can't find enough discarded monofilament, hooks, and other gear to "survive". I pack lots of that out too.

572cv
03-24-2009, 10:25 PM
Roadside litter is a problem everywhere. In Vermont, we have had an annual event to pick things up, statewide, called Green Up Day. Usually, its the first or second Saturday in May. Green Up Bags are passed out at town hall, or some designated place. Enough people participate so that things get amazingly well picked up. The towns organize their road crews to help fill dump trucks with the picked up stuff. In my town, I think we got 3 tons of stuff last year- that included tires and engine blocks, sofas, etc. It is amazing. The effect lasts for a good part of the summer. It is also the case that people see the work being done, and are less inclined to toss stuff for a while, at least. Anyway, organizing some participatory event to make it both reinforcing and broadly productive is good. Good luck everybody....

csm
03-25-2009, 09:06 AM
for some reason, I've been thinking about this since I first read the op. another example I've noticed is the spent shotgun casings I see when out hunting birds. even when shooting fast and furious at doves I still police my brass (so to speak as shotguns don't really eject brass) and wonder why others don't. and they seem to last forever.