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But nothing like Chicago…

I have seen a lot of trash in the last few years.
Copious amounts of junk even in mostly-clean Portland, OR. Litter by the curb full in New York. And of course, my daily haul in Charlotte.
But nothing compares to the West Side of Chicago.
As I walked from my son’s place on West Huron up Ashland to Division in search for a cup of coffee, the sheer volume and diversity of stuff thrown aside was beyond belief. I cannot adequately describe it.
As I exited the Starbucks a small Walgreens bag was blowing by. I sped up a few steps to retrieve it and began my chore – pick up what I could.
But it became very clear very quickly that the bag would be overwhelmed very fast. The prioritization was equally fast; plastic only. By the third block the little Walgreens bag was filled with a dozen to 15 flattened Aquafina, Dasani and Coca Cola bottles (among others).
Luckily enough, the breeze brought along a Target bag and now my pathway recycling saw a new burst of energy. I could get bottle caps and plastic wrappers. Yet a couple of blocks short of Reid’s place, the new bag was maxxed out.
I don’t know if Mayor Rahm Emanuel pays much attention to this sort of urban blight, but he should. If the route of Ashland to Division to Paulina to West Huron is any indication, he’d better start to. Yesterday’s grade is now downgraded: F+.


About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

2 Comments on But nothing like Chicago…

  1. Garbero Photography // June 25, 2013 at 1:42 am // Reply

    I noticed this too. I live in Garfield park and I am blown away by the trash! (Just moved here from Portland Oregon) I went to boystown Friday night for PRIDE and the sidewalks were COVERED with trash after just one night! The trash cans were over flowing! I just don’t get it. How can a city be so dirty? My street isn’t too bad. I have noticed neighbors hang plastic bags on their iron fences. I assume people walking by put there trash in them. Out of all the things I hate about Chicago (and there is a lot!!!) the trash everywhere is what I hate the most!

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