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Walk of Shame

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The sum total of my toil this week. Whatever elation I feel at doing good is tempered knowing there will be more junk tomorrow and the days after that.

The sum total of my toil this week. Whatever elation I feel at doing good is tempered knowing there will be more junk tomorrow and the days after that.

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This morning's take. I'll give Harris Teeter bags this: those babies can really stretch to accommodate big loads.

This morning’s take. I’ll give Harris Teeter bags this: those babies can really stretch to accommodate big loads.

My new friend Marge stands momentary watch of today's menagerie of litter.

My new friend Marge stands momentary watch of today’s menagerie of litter.

This is the week that was from the anti-litter perspective. The bottom line is that the odds and ends of what people opt to discard are out of circulation for good.

This is the week that was from the anti-litter perspective. The bottom line is that the odds and ends of what people opt to discard are out of circulation for good.

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This morning's sordid haul. The volume should be roughly the same tomorrow. And the day after that.

This morning’s sordid haul. The volume should be roughly the same tomorrow. And the day after that.

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My daily escapades are so infinitesimally minuscule related to the larger global picture. But they are related.

My daily escapades are so infinitesimally minuscule related to the larger global picture. But they are related.

Nearly a bag-buster today. My ounce of cure was worth about 4 pounds of prevention this morning.

Nearly a bag-buster today. My ounce of cure was worth about 4 pounds of prevention this morning.

Things are warming up fast on a global level, but my ire heats up fast, too, on my daily walks.

Things are warming up fast on a global level, but my ire heats up fast, too, on my daily walks.

A few days worth of bending and stooping along my path. To be honest, it makes me sick but it has to be done.

A few days worth of bending and stooping along my path. To be honest, it makes me sick but it has to be done.

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A few days worth of reclaimed items. I get sick of this a lot of days.

A few days worth of reclaimed items. I get sick of this a lot of days.

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My Thursday-Friday-Saturday morning haul in one lump. Granted, it's sordid and messy and gross, but it's worth the effort to show people that we can do better by our environment.

My Thursday-Friday-Saturday morning haul in one lump. Granted, it’s sordid and messy and gross, but it’s worth the effort to show people that we can do better by our environment.

The best I can do is control what is within my grasp such as this morning's pile of junk. Maybe it is that as individuals we can reach a critical mass that allows us to keep our generational promise.

The best I can do is control what is within my grasp such as this morning’s pile of junk. Maybe it is that as individuals we can reach a critical mass that allows us to keep our generational promise.

My Monday-Tuesday haul that elicited the thumbs up.  I guess the next step is trying to figure out how to take this beast to the big time or the next level, whichever comes first.

My Monday-Tuesday haul that elicited the thumbs up. I guess the next step is trying to figure out how to take this beast to the big time or the next level, whichever comes first.

The contents unleashed. Not so neat and tidy.

The contents unleashed. Not so neat and tidy.

This morning's debris is contained in a neat and tidy bundle.

This morning’s debris is contained in a neat and tidy bundle.

Is this renovation waste from my development destined for recycling or the landfill? My guess is the latter.

Is this renovation waste from my development destined for recycling or the landfill? My guess is the latter.

Damn it, it just never gets easier. There's more of them - slobs, idiots, morons, et al - than there are of me.

Damn it, it just never gets easier. There’s more of them – slobs, idiots, morons, et al – than there are of me.

I despise a lot of things I pick up but none more so than a hard plastic band used to wrap bundles of 2x4s and the like. Its often in lengths of 6 - 10 ft. which makes it hard to corral. It resists coiling neatly and magically unwraps itself nearly every time I think it's contained. I come across my share of it and it's never left behind.

I despise a lot of things I pick up but none more so than a hard plastic band used to wrap bundles of 2x4s and the like. Its often in lengths of 6 – 10 ft. which makes it hard to corral. It resists coiling neatly and magically unwraps itself nearly every time I think it’s contained. I come across my share of it and it’s never left behind.

My 'prisoners' in my weekend war on litter. It's a ware that won't stop but I'll keep fighting back along the battlefront that is my path.

My ‘prisoners’ in my weekend war on litter. It’s a ware that won’t stop but I’ll keep fighting back along the battlefront that is my path.

Every day, there is more, there is more, there is more to be picked up, sorted and recycled.

Every day I take a photo of that day’s disgraceful haul. Click on the image to make it larger, but you already get the Big Picture.

This is a bad day, a literal bag buster of a haul.

This is a bad day, a literal bag buster of a haul.

This is a good day. Not nearly enough to fill a bag.

This is a good day. Not nearly enough to fill a bag.

These cig-pack zip tops are rapidly gaining as my new #1 pet peeve.

These cig-pack zip tops are rapidly gaining as my new #1 pet peeve.

The residue of the post-dumping. What started out as a celebratory walk was tempered by the sheer volume of what was along my route.

The residue of the post-dumping. What started out as a celebratory walk was tempered by the sheer volume of what was along my route.

This morning's full bag before the ceremonial dumping out on the driveway.

This morning’s full bag before the ceremonial dumping out on the driveway.

The sounds - but not the sights - of my litter pick up efforts will be broadcast tomorrow on WFAE.

The sounds – but not the sights – of my litter pick up efforts will be broadcast tomorrow on WFAE.

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It's too wet this morning to dump the bag's contents onto the driveway. That will wait for drier conditions.

It’s too wet this morning to dump the bag’s contents onto the driveway. That will wait for drier conditions.

No doubt some of the junk seen here is produced by the companies hoping to see some of that refuse recycled and reused.

No doubt some of the junk seen here is produced by the companies hoping to see some of that refuse recycled and reused.

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Charlotte's going to do even less than it was doing to pick up litter. They'll scale back to sweeping streets only on weekends. Alas, my duty is at least six days a week.

Charlotte’s going to do even less than it was doing to pick up litter. They’ll scale back to sweeping streets only on weekends. Alas, my duty is at least six days a week.

Tonight's haul seemed to be overwhelming tilted toward plastic. Maybe I'm just dreaming that up. How's that different from any other day?

Tonight’s haul seemed to be overwhelming tilted toward plastic. Maybe I’m just dreaming that up. How’s that different from any other day?

There's a simple answer to why the residue of my daily walk always ends up unceremoniously dumped on my driveway: Because this junk shouldn't have to be picked up in the first place.

There’s a simple answer to why the residue of my daily walk always ends up unceremoniously dumped on my driveway: Because this junk shouldn’t have to be picked up in the first place.

You gotta help me understand what goes through the minds of idiots who would flick this junk aside. My guess of what they think about: no much.

You gotta help me understand what goes through the minds of idiots who would flick this junk aside. My guess of what they think about: not much.

2 Comments on Walk of Shame

  1. I would love to contribute to this awareness, I have taken photos in the past of garbage I have collected while on a stroll. My intentions were to present it to the city, for hopes that they would do something about it. My main one was down by the river walk in Des Moines, Iowa. Its a park for the public and the amount of trash I picked up was insane, especially in a public park. Let me know if there is any way I can help.

    • Karla: Sorry to be late in the response. I lived in DSM and Clive for a long time, and feel your pain about trash along the River Walk. I’m trying to figure out how to marshal our resources to make this a movement. Stay tuned – but thanks for your comment.
      Dave

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