Living in a beautiful tourist area, we are unfortunately used to having visitors chuck their rubbish over our roads, verges and pristine open spaces.
For instance, last summer we took a drive out to Loch Dee. This is a lovely little inland loch in the Galloway Forest in the middle of hills, fields and woods, with the nearest house miles away. By the waterside, we found the remains of a fire, piled with cans and plastic bottles; also, bizarrely, an electric kettle. There was simply no excuse for this; even if the louts had come on foot (which was unlikely – who packs an electric kettle in a rucksack?), the empty cans and bottles would have been much lighter to take back than than carrying them here.
We frequently visit the loch and its surroundings, and this rubbish-dumping is all too common there. Some of the dumpers make the effort of putting their garbage into rubbish bags and leaving them at the roadside; they evidently think that the council rubbish trucks come round there every week (the rubbish is actually taken away by hard-working volunteers two or three times a year, or by the local farmer if the sheep are likely to get at the bags).
There are times – such as when I found a load of takeaway food cartons chucked into a local gateway 200 yards from a rubbish bin – that I indulge in rich fantasies of tracking down the vandals to their homes, knocking, on their doors and asking if they’d like their rubbish back.
If only! Last month, I found no less than three little bags of dog turds on a single stretch of roadside verge; the owner(s) had been responsible enough to put their pet’s poo into special pet-poo bags (a good idea in farmland and wild places, as it keep parasites out of the general animal population), but weirdly had just left them there for somebody else to pick up.
This morning, I found similar example. I climbed the hill opposite our house to take some photos. It was hard work for me, even though I took the gentle route winding up through the woods. At the top, completely puffed out, I sat on the bench there. And looked down.
And found myself looking at a torn condom wrapper.
Now I’ve nothing against outdoor recreation of any sort. And I’m all in favour of safe sex. But, having been responsible enough to use a condom, why the **** didn’t these people take their responsibility a little bit further and carry their rubbish away with them?

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1 Comment

  1. I agree.

    Strangely, in Japan EVERYONE disposes of their rubbish properly, recycling where possible. It’s just not the done thing to litter. I think it’s part of their hyper-politeness. While there, I saw not one item of rubbish anywhere, except in bins.