“Clean Up Baltimore”

July 25, 2016

 

BW photograph of a sign attached to a trash can advocating to "Clean Up Baltimore".

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

While on an early morning walk in Fells Point yesterday, the sign pictured above, which was attached to a trashcan,  caught my attention.

This was just to the left and a little behind the can:

BW photograph of discarded bag of chips spilling onto the sidewalk.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This was laying behind and to the right of the can:

BW photograph of an overturned slice of pizza laying on the sidewalk.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This was a fair bit off to the east in the water:

BW photograph of three plastic bottles, a styrofoam clamshell box, and other dietrius floating in the water.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

So, how are we doing with the task that headlines the posted sign?

I wonder how many fines were issued Saturday night.  Can you imagine the revenue if the threat expressed on the sign were to be enforced?

Thinking about this from a different angle, what happens when a threat is not enforced?

What would happen if, instead of a threat, there was some kind of tangible benefit or reward for reducing, reusing, and recycling?

It would be so much better to do what is stated in the latter half of the small print at the bottom of the sign.  Before the age of plastics, it was possible to return empty glass bottles for a small fee.  As a child, my friends and I used to ride around the neighborhood and collect glass bottles to be exchanged for a few pennies apiece at what would now most likely be a Royal Farm store or Wawa.  That, of course, meant someone tossed the bottles when finished.  However, the difference is those bottles we picked up were then sent back to whichever company produced them to be reused.  There are some stores that still do this with some bottles, but the migration to disposable, so-called “more convenient” packaging decidedly removed that practice from the mainstream.  It is very easy to see the result of this transition.

Reduce.  Reuse. Recycle.  Being responsible and a good steward does count.

Take care.

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