July 5th

July 6, 2015

BW photograph of a line of trashcans and trash lying in the street

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As is my tradition, I go into the city on the morning of July 5th to photograph what has been left behind from the Fourth’s festivities.  The result is my yearly rant about our culture and its relationship to trash.

BW photograph of two food containers left behind after July 4th

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As is usually the case, food containers were a frequent sight…

BW photograph of a trashcan overflowing with trash after July 4th

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a trashcan overflowing onto the ground after July 4th

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

as were trash cans overflowing with recyclable materials.  Whenever this much trash is left behind, inevitably some of it ends up on the ground…

BW photograph of wood, plastic and paper trash floating in the water after July 4th

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a Cheetos bag floating in the water amid other debris

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

or is blown into the water.

BW photograph of a bag in trash advertising 'recyclable'

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Interestingly, even some of the trash respectfully requests different treatment than what it is given here.

BW photograph of a broken drinking glass at the base of a light pole

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Something surely is broken.  Perhaps it is simply an issue of economics.  If monies were available and appropriated for the purpose, then there would be more recycling bins available to the general public, which would help stem this concentration of trash.  As these photographs indicate, many people, but certainly not all, are putting their trash in the designated cans-there is just too much trash being generated.  It is also important to note that these are regular trash cans and not recycling bins, which are available in other parts of the city.

BW photograph of a cup advertising "Live the VIP Life"

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Instead of economics, popular culture and the process of socialization may be at work here.  Indeed, “LIVE THE VIP LIFE” (in all caps no less) is a pretty strong message as it is an encouragement to elevate oneself above others-that is, the norms of social conduct need not necessarily apply to a particular individual’s behaviour as being a “Very Important Person” conveys a degree of specialness not enjoyed by all.  Some may take that message literally as a license to do whatever regardless of what is left behind for someone else to clean up.

Take care.

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