: views from the Hill

Monday, January 16, 2006

One for the road ... and for the City

The city streets, sidewalks, parks and steps aren't going to get any cleaner without some help.

Walk down the street, what do you see? A tossed away wrapper here, a discarded envelope there. Old telephone books tossed out and left in the rain. We won't even mention the mattresses, fluorescent bulbs, broken tables, mannequins, and potted plants left out on the sidewalk with the hope that some scavenger or the DOT clean street folk will pick them up.

... and they do. ...

Walking up the Steps to Montgomery yesterday, I noticed someone had used a big wad of newspaper to wipe mud/poop/crud off their shoes and then tossed the papers at the bottom of the concrete steps where the steps jog onto a wooden pathway.

What's up with that?

At the top of the Steps people had dropped two takeaway coffee cups, a couple of wadded napkins, candy wrappers, some other paper, some plastic. Just dropped. Discarded. Left behind. What's up with that?

We finished carrying our Trader Joe's goodies in and his nibs was going back up the Steps to move the car back into the leased parking. I took a plastic grocery bag from the bundle we have in the kitchen, stuck my hand into the plastic bag the Chronicle always comes in, and followed him up the Steps, picking up the wad of newspaper, the coffee cups, the wadded napkins and what-all and stashing them in the grocery bag. I took the bag full of garbage back down the steps and tossed it in our garbage can.

I pick up litter because I figure if the litter is left, the next folk along will see the litter and think it's okay to drop their garbage too. The piles will grow. Best to clear it up and keep the place from looking like a pig pen or a dung heap.

Would be best, of course, if the City placed more litter bins at spots like the top of the Steps where people tend to drop their stuff. But litter bin maintenance would probably be too hard to manage and people might use them for household garbage in lieu of paying our local garbage folk.

Or maybe having more litter bins wouldn't be the answer anyway.

On our walkaround over to Fort Mason yesterday, we passed by the sitting steps outside the Maritime Museum. Folks had left bags, wrappers, food trash.

The seagulls were ecstatic. I was not. Look. The litter bin is right there, folks. Just pop that trash in the bin. How hard is that?

My "one for the road" pledge: I do solemnly pledge to refrain from littering, and, in addition, at least once a day, pick up at least one piece of litter.

If everyone would just refrain from littering themselves and daily pick up at least one piece of litter tossed by some bozo who won't refrain from littering, the City would be a cleaner place.

Next up! Pics of representative bits of litter and trash seen during today's five mile (RT) walk to Greenwich and Divisadero.

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