Saturday, March 19, 2011

This is where the trash goes...

The other day, Gordon and I took a walk along our road with the dogs. The snow is thawing, and a winter's worth of garbage is rearing its ugly head. I decided to photograph every single piece of trash I found in front of our farm, almost all of which was clearly tossed from passing vehicles. Our property is about 900 feet wide at the front (and over 6,000 feet deep). What follows is photographic documentation of all the trash I found on our property within tossing distance of the road.

I've seen roads far more littered than ours, and maybe this won't look like a lot of trash to you. Or maybe it will. I personally found it disgusting and will be going back soon with garbage and recycling bags.  And imagine this amount of trash multiplied along the very-long length of our county road!

We enjoyed profiling the pigs who threw this stuff out their vehicle windows.

Most of them eat and drink a lot of junk. McDonald's crap, pop, candy... and some health freak had a banana. I don't mind the banana peel so much since it's at least compostable and will eventually disappear on its own.  But I have read you shouldn't throw apple cores and such out your car window, as it attracts wild animals to the shoulder, where they are often killed by passing vehicles.

Maynard's Sour Patch Kids package. Now this one was quite exciting!

By far the most prevalent trash was Tim Hortons coffee cups. For those not in the know, Timmy Ho's is the most popular coffee/doughnut chain in Canada, although I am not a fan. Still,  I'm not convinced that Tim Hortons customers litter more than any other people; rather, there are just so many Tim Hortons customers around here, drinking so much coffee in their vehicles, that these cups were bound to be the stars of the roadside crap show.

Coke bottle, part of a Bell Canada envelope, plastic bag that used to hold some electronics component, and yes, another Tim Hortons cup.

But other morons litter too. People who guzzle energy drinks and milk, for example...

 ...and oh look, another Tim's cup and another Bell envelope!

Smokers are slobs too, as are people with headaches and computer geeks...

Other litterers include knobs hepped up on Red Bull, beef jerky munchers, and oh look...

...another Tim Hortons cup!

 We also have water-snob slobs who toss Evian bottles. And more smokers. And more pop-sucking McDonalds patrons, and oh yes...

...another Tim Hortons cup!

Quite a lot of paper was found too, and a surprising amount of it had the Bell Canada logo on it!

And this:

  A wee pear ornament in a puddle.

And I really hope this littering moron wasn't guzzling this before he tossed it...


(Note to self: people with bad taste in beer like to litter!)
Some crap made it right into the field... many reasons I hate McDonald's, so little time!
Now, don't you think that every pastoral landscape is prettied up by a discarded Tim Horton's coffee cup?


Gordon and the doggies watched over me from up on the road shoulder.

So if you're one of those naughty people who thinks it's perfectly fine to toss your trash out the car window, think again. It might be one little coffee cup to you, but when everyone does it, that garbage mounts up quickly. And I don't appreciate having to be the one to pick up your rubbish!


  1. Ugh, gross people. Once I was driving home from work, stuck in a traffic jam in the city, and some moron in the car in front of me opened his window and threw out a soda bottle! I was aghast and mad, but didn't dare walk out an yell at him, although I wanted to! We often walk the paved road that's along a portion of our land and pick up trash that was tossed by passing morons. The coffee cups are funny! I'm gonna have to go look up Tim Ho's, I've never heard of them!

  2. I was thinking the same thing when I walked our dog in town today. You would not believe (well, yes you would) how much crap was lying on the sidewalks and in the snow banks. It was mind-boggling. I suppose they are even worse in the country. Lucky lady before me that never heard of Timmie's. Lousy coffee anyway. I was out in the country today and what a great day it was...ah sunshine!!

  3. That was an excellent post! Thank You for bring this to attention...I live off a small road and people just toss garbage out their car windows like you wouldn't believe. I walk my dogs down it and it's just nasty, we pick up what we can around our streets entrance but the road is just filled with it...I also see a lot of animals killed by passing cars on the road and I can only believe it's because of the littering...Thank you for such an eye opening post! Jennifer

  4. Inconsiderate arseholes! We get a lot of fast food crap thrown into the little patch we call a front garden.It really gets on my wick

  5. Anonymous6:50 pm

    The crap thrown on our country road picks up greatly in hunting season when all the macho hunters from the cities invade. Beer cans are the most by far. But the worst is when hunters leave bags of deer carcasses on the side of the road. Lazy S.O.B.s...

  6. A most appropriate blog topic. I am in the same situation. We have 1600 feet of frontage on a quiet country road, and tomorrow is cleanup day. I can't believe how much crap there is. Last year I had two full garbage bags of recyclables, and then there was a whole lot of just plain garbage, that I had to pay to dispose of.

    A year or two ago, we had someone dumping chicken necks and skins by the five gallon pails. The it was fish heads and carcasses. Fortunately I got the license plate on that joker and the police dealt with him. Haven't had that any more, but there was a full mattress last fall!

  7. Anonymous9:56 pm

    Amen, Natalie. Mike and I go for lots of walks. We live in a beautiful and relatively clean community. It's disappointing to find the occasional drink cup or beer can. Someone had tossed a bunch of orange peels on the asphalt-paved trail earlier this week. I don't understand who does that. I've never had any desire to litter and I don't understand people who prefer to toss their garbage out a car window rather than simply dispose of it in a trash can when they stop for gas or whatever.

    I think people who litter are low-lifes.

  8. Excellent post, disgusting for sure, but clearly needing to be demonstrated - the effects of the out of sight out of mind attitude. I was just 'talking trash' today with a co-worker, how if every community could no longer ship away trash to another unseen location or country and had to deal with it piling up in our own backyards then we might start to really look at consumption and waste. City parking lots would be sky scraper high with waste within a week, suburban shopping mall parking lots would fill up with the waste from the mall alone within a couple months...
    Backyards and condo balconies...
    If you dont want trash in your car people what makes you think others want it on their front lawn?!! So sorry you have to face that mess every beautiful spring :(

  9. It's a shame that drivers are littering your land with garbage instead of throwing it away like adults.

    From time to time, I volunteer on clean-up days at a local wetland, and the garbage that drivers throw away by the road is disgusting. Over the past few years, we've found beer bottles, whiskey bottles, soda cans, cigarette butts a plenty, tires, cell phones, candy wrappers, and even a huge pair of men's underware (!).

  10. I feel your pain. I still can't walk the dogs on the side of my property that borders the road. Last summer some moron THREW several cartons of empty liquor bottles - and, of all things, the glass base of a lamp and a glass lampshade - which sounded like a bomb when they hit. I still periodically go out and pick more broken glass out of the ground.

    And there is no shortage of McDonald's, BK, KFC, etc. cups, plastic drink bottles, paper wrappers, ever. I pick it all up all summer long just before I mow the grass. It's disgusting.

    I guess the good news is that folks seem to care about keeping their car compartments free of trash...

  11. I don't think those who do this, read your blog. Too bad. I'm always angry when I see all that crap lying around too. Once my son asked his friends why they do this in front of a TH already, and they said, the people working for Tim Hortons are supposed to pick up their cups. What do people think happens to those beer cans etc.? Magically disappear?

  12. Anonymous4:53 pm

    you hit upon my pet peeve!! I cant stand it when people litter....drives me crazy!!! our society is so lazy and our poor planet is suffering.

    Good for you for doing a public service announcement, LOL.

    Jill from NY

  13. We to have to do a spring cleanup here. Jerks.
    My siblings and I spent most of our summers at my grandfathers farm (crops mostly), he'd have us walk the ditch, at least a mile both sides of a busy road, picking up the trash. He was proud of his land and we would come back with bags of trash.
    This was way before coffee shops with there disposable cups.

  14. It bothers me to no end that people feel that the side of the road is a garbage can. Too darn lazy to pick it up from their car seat or floor when they get home and deposit their trash where it belongs.
    The snow is really melting around here and the evidence of all the non-residents who drove through during the winter is being uncovered. Makes me wonder what their own homes look like??

  15. Cheers to you! Every time I see a Tim's cup on the side of the road, or rolling about the centre of the road, I think "I ought to blog it." Well, thank you for doing just that! I recall in school there being a great deal of discussion on how bad it is to littler. You even saw adverts about, reminding us to be tidy. Not so much now. I think we all need a fresh lesson on the matter. Thank you for your effort to keep our world a little neater.

    As a side note, you should see the crap floating about the parking lot outside my son's college residence. There are trash cans everywhere. Apparently, they need more help "noticing" those trash cans.

  16. Anonymous4:14 pm

    Coincidentally, I wandered through the woods by the side of our golf course yesterday, searching for free golf balls, and in good-citizen mode I filled a big bag with discarded trash to take to the bin, but not a single Tim Hortons coffee cup was seen. I could swap you five Irn Bru bottles for five of Tim's cups though (whoever Tim is - never heard of him). I cannot abide people who throw away such trash. It says much about their attitude to everyhting, and everybody, else, I reckon. I don't mind people who slice expensive almost new golf balls into the woods though, as that means I never need to buy any of my own. Saves me a small fortune each year.

  17. Thank you for not documenting any "trucker bombs".

    And not a single photograph of my own pet peeve... cigarette butts. Sure, "everybody" just drops them to the ground and some people even step on them to extinguish them. But it's still littering, folks. Grrrr.

  18. Wow, I LOVE how people responded to this post!! It gives me hope to know that other people are as riled up about litter as I am. I can't believe some of your stories.

  19. Lynn, it can be risky to confront these morons, but I would have been mad too! Our friend once watched a guy in the car stopped in front of him pitch an apple core out the window. Our friend got out of his car, picked up the apple core, and knocked on the guy's window. When he rolled it down, our friend gave him back the apple core, saying "You dropped this!" If I'd done that, I probably would have gotten shot. :)

  20. Deb, I don't drink coffee (I'm a tea girl) but I am no fan of Tim's. The death knell was when they starting with the frozen-then-thawed doughnuts. Ugh. I am going up there with a trash bag to clean up soon!

    Isn't the sun nice? We're in for a week of it!

  21. Jennifer, glad you liked the post. Let's hope a few people read it and stop littering as a result.

    Jams, that's even less excusable than what goes on in front of our place. Our house is way back from the road and people can tell themselves they're just littering by the road, but to dump crap in someone's garden is so RUDE!

    TTPT, the deer carcass thing is GROSS. I haven't seen that here but I'm sure it happens. Ugh.

    Musical Gardener, you have much more to complain about than I do. Chicken carcasses and a mattress? YUCK!!! People can be despicable. Glad you got the guy's license #.

    CogDis, I'm with you. I grew up in the 70s and remember having it drilled into me not to litter. As a kid, I was a bit, er, fanatical about telling people not to litter. It still drives me nuts.

  22. Lauren, great comment! "Out of sight, out of mind." I'm sure most of us would be appalled if we saw how much garbage we create!

    Ahab, good for you for volunteering!! I should organize something like that for our road.

    Crowzma, ugh, you sound like you have it worse than I do. but your last sentence made me laugh out loud! :)

    Monika, good for your son for speaking up to his friends!

    Jill, nice to see you! Funny, I was just thinking about you the other day. Good to know you're still out there.

    SugarCreek, sounds like we are in the same boat. I hope some special kind of karma comes to bite litterers in the butt!

    Paula,their own homes are probably tidy. No doubt they throw their crap over the fence into the neighbours' back yard! :P

    Jennifer, I agree with you. We need some fresh anti-littering campaigns, like the ones I remember from childhood. Basic manners are always nice too!

    H. insciens, you do a great public service both with your golf ball collection and your garbage collection! Hey, we can get Irn Bru at our fish and chip shop. Btw, Tim Hortons is Canada's largest coffee/doughnut chain. I liked them okay before they got huge and stopped caring about doughnut quality!

    HWB, cigarette butts drive me insane. THey are NOT innocuous, either. Bad for the environment, bad for wildlife, and an eyesore!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!