Litterbugs annoy the hell out of me. It's a small enough thing, but to me it indicates a major character defect. I've stopped being friends with people who litter. It's that troublesome to me.
Of course, I've got another reason to hate littering. Trash keeps getting thrown on my land. Happens all the time. Someone goes for a nice drive around the lake. They come to an undeveloped section of land (my land) and toss out an empty beer or soda can. I'm putting more of those out in today's recycling.
Litter breeds litter. If someone dumps a few old tires at the end of a dirt road, eventually they'll be a pile of them. Trash piles attract more trash.
There was a huge spike in illegal dumping when dump fees went up. For example, it costs ten dollars to dump a refrigerator. Tires cost money to dump. Some stuff is free. The town allows three pickup truck loads of junk to be dumped every year. I hate going to the transfer station. They poke around your load, looking for something with a fee attached to it. Everything goes in separate piles. There's always the chance of tire damage. It's a real annoyance.
As much as I hate going there, I do it. I hate the woods being filled up with junk more.
The litter problem varies quite a bit around the country. Some of the worse littering I've seen is in the Southeast. No idea why. Litter is all over the woods and people act like they don't see it. I once asked one guy why he was littering. He told me he was littering because the government didn't want you to. Now it's one thing to have issues with the government, but some things just aren't right.
One thing I've noticed a huge improvement in is there's less stuff thrown in the lake. The first warm swimming day I'd put on a diving mask and see how many cans and bottles I'd pull out of the water. It used to be quite a haul, especially after a long winter of ice fishing. Beer bottles fit so nicely down those holes in the ice. Those guys seem to have gotten the message. There are more fishing shacks on the ice than ever before, but very few bottles or cans show up now. Education can work.
Economic factors influence the amount of trash in the woods. At first, the littering problem gets worse as people avoid dump fees. Later on, they can't afford to travel out here into the woods as much. There are less people around to litter. Not only that, they have less stuff to throw away. If they can't afford that six pack of beer, there won't be empty cans out in my trees. I guess an economic downturn isn't all bad.
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