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What one day of litter looks like …

I got called out by a reader about Sunday’s double trash walk.

Most of the litter, she said, “… blows out of garbage trucks.”

My response: “That is straight bull shit.”

Almost nothing in this volume – polystyrene fast food cups, plastic soda bottles, beer cans, and virtually everything else picked up by hand – is flotsam from trucks. Perhaps the plastic sheets and polystyrene flat fell by the wayside, but this is largely the doing of slobs. Every stinking bit of it.

This is the same reader who, several months ago, said other cities have it worse. Not that I don’t care about the cleanliness of other locales, but I don’t give a damn. I care about Charlotte. This is where I live.

And I will keep piling on once she sees this photo: ‘If you don’t think Charlotte has a goddamn litter problem, look closely at the sheer enmity represented by this heap of junk. All this crap was collected on one day along two paths.’


Am I angry? You could say so. Charlotte, you have a real and true litter problem.

Do the math. If there’s this much litter (12 lbs. or so) on two relatively short routes, how much has accumulated on the more than two thousand miles of Charlotte streets?’

There was so much trash that for the first time ever, I had to stand on a chair to capture the grandeur of all the sordidness in one semi-panoramic view.

I have a relatively thick skin but she found a way to get under it. Now my dander is up. Her’s ought to be, too.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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