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Seven days in May …

A little while back, I posted a photo of several days worth of litter in a single unruly pile of junk. Usually the contents of each bag are strewn about in mishmash fashion to put the harsh spotlight of shame on individual pieces of junk. The veiled threat was then made to stockpile a week's worth of trash for another picture of infamy.

Seven bags in seven days. It's an easy 20 lbs. of garbage.

Seven bags in seven days. It's an easy 20 lbs. of garbage.

The chance for the photo came about today. This morning's early walk produced the seventh bag collected in the past eight days. But a huge mistake was made of the resulting jumble of litter on my driveway. Not that I wish there was more daylight or better photo optics. Nah, neither of those. It's the lack of photo styling. After the first couple of bags were dumped out I just kind of stood there gawking at the volume and forgot to spread out the pile. The remaining bags were heaped atop the other residue. As it is, the resulting mess was nearly 10 feet across and 6 - 7 feet from top to bottom. Under normal circumstances with normal spacing, it could have been - should have been - 12-14 feet wide and 10 feet deep.
Here it is - the residue of seven days in May. But I goofed when it comes to picking up after goofs - I should have spread the pile out to capture the true scope of this one-path disaster.

Here it is - the residue of seven days in May. But I goofed when it comes to picking up after goofs - I should have spread the pile out to capture the true scope of this one-path disaster.

In hindsight, a few moments spent to shuffle the debris would have made for a more compelling photograph. Too many pieces of litter remained anonymous beneath the pile and deserved to be visible. Indeed, when I re-sorted everything back into bags (which took roughly 40 minutes), more than one bag was filled-to-the-gills of the hated polystyrene. What is truly depressing to me is that this representation of seven days in May - 20 pounds by my estimation - is merely one path in one city. It's irritating, and deflating, to think that trashy counterparts to my route exist virtually everywhere in the U.S. And just think of the brands represented in this 10' by 6' rogue's gallery of rubble. It's a who's who of

product makers: Coca Cola, Evian, Budweiser, Burger King, Miller Lite, Coors, Chick-Fil-A, Smirnoff, McDonalds, 7 Eleven, Dairy Queen, Trojan (ha), Frito Lay, Gatorade, Bojangles, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s where my boneheadedness by not spreading out my finds also stings a bit: I can’t see, let alone remember, all the makers of all the products. Many remain unseen, and thus unnamed.

Don’t expect to see another such photo anytime soon. It takes too long to sort through the resulting crap. For another, I doubt my neighbors appreciated the sight of Harris Teeter bags – one after another, day after day – plopped next to my trash can.

About Dave Bradley (259 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.

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