Parenting Perspectives: I’m litter-ally annoyed with my neighborsI helped look after my granddog during the spring and summer, and as we took our strolls around the extended block on which I live, I would carry the requisite doggie bag (not the restaurant variety). I soon learned to also bring along a bigger bag every few days. Why? To pick up trash.
By: Kathy Tofflemire, INFORUM
I helped look after my granddog during the spring and summer, and as we took our strolls around the extended block on which I live, I would carry the requisite doggie bag (not the restaurant variety). I soon learned to also bring along a bigger bag every few days. Why? To pick up trash.
Now I am not a neatnik by any means. I have written before about my aversion to housework, and that I have dust bunnies under my bed and in the rear of closets that have been with me so long they have names. I can be slightly untidy in the privacy of my own home (and I can wear shorts).
However, public messiness offends me. I know much of what I gather in my neighborhood – aluminum cans, plastic cups and bottles, fast-food bags and wrappers, cigarettes packages and other assorted detritus – is thrown from passing vehicles. But I fail to understand how residents can walk by this debris (sometimes for days) and make no attempt to pick it up.
I don’t want to paint all renters with the same brush, but most of the trash I gathered was found in front of the three large apartment houses near my condo.
As the pooch and I walked by one building on a sunny afternoon, a woman came out and sat on the step to smoke. I thought: Surely she will pick up the two fast-food bags and the plastic one that were within arm’s reach. But when we walked back, I saw that she was gone. The trash remained. So I removed it.
I don’t know positively that my grandsons have learned not to be litterbugs. I suspect they have since my daughter hates it when people even throw cigarette butts out their car windows.
I know the boys have picked up on my recycling habits, which have become more pronounced since the city expanded the rules on cardboard. Often they will ask me if some particular empty container is recyclable.
Since I live in a condominium, I don’t have curbside garbage/
recycling service. So the cans, milk bottles and empty cereal and tissue boxes go from a container in my kitchen to a bigger container in my garage to the trunk of my car to the neighborhood recycling center. And often my younger grandson accompanies me on their final journey.
But some people can’t even do recycling correctly.
I give these folks props for doing their part to keep Fargo clean and reduce the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill.
Don’t put greasy pizza boxes and other containers (with food still in them) in the trash container for cardboard. Ick.
There is a difference between magazines and newspapers; and phonebooks are an entirely different category that’s taken care of just a few weeks of the year (shortly after the new books are distributed in the spring).
This isn’t rocket science, folks. Just use a little common sense.
OK, I admit I have been in serious curmudgeon mode more than usual recently. I think I may be channeling Andy Rooney.
“Did you ever
Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum. Readers can reach her
at (701) 241-5514, or firstname.lastname@example.org