Thursday, June 2, 2011

ROBBLOG # 273 W E E K E N D Edition

Litter is always a problem.

People who litter are the root of the littering problem.
Yesterday, some lovely little high school student tucked an empty bag of Lay’s chips into a plant at the front of our property.

How thoughtful of the little bugger! Shove it into the foliage of a plant so it wouldn’t blow down the street and yet stay hidden from the eye’s of passerby. Wasn’t that just thoughtful now? I wonder who put him up to that.
Let’s see….
Could it have been…




Or all three?
Isn’t that special of the young man who offered up his litter to the world.
(Thank You Church Lady!)

I know it’s a young man littering- although the young women with their proliferation of foul language could be to blame too. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago I was sitting here writing at my computer, when I was drawn into a conversation between two Valley Girls- they must have lived towards the south end of the valley- judging by their accents. They were cussing and dishing all manner of people from teachers, to boys and fellow lady students too. They walk along the sidewalk on the north side of our house, past a window at my back and that’s when I become part of the conversation. Then, down the sidewalk a few feet and their annoying nasal twang floats though another open window. By the time the young ladies reach the corner of our property, I had turned from my keyboard and was looking out the window at them.

As they turned the corner they decided it would be a shorter walk to cut across our grass between the stop sign and a maple tree. Goodness they must of saved at least half a step!
“Stay on the Sidewalk Please!”- I bellowed!
One gal asked the other-
“What did he say?”
I couldn’t hear her answer.
Before they headed back to school, I made my way to the Garden Shed to get a length of fence- about a foot tall, to stretch between the stop sign and the tree. This might deter their future detours from the sidewalk. So far it has. No path has been forged in a new direction.

Now to the boys.
I’ve seen them drinking their pop and I have found the cans or plastic water bottles lopped on our lawn or down the street on more than one occasion. When I walk the dogs past ODCVI- the high school at the end of our block, I see the same products strewn about. Chips, pop cans, water and juice bottles and tons and tons of cigarette butts.
It’s a shame.
That school is my Alma Mater. In the 60’s the grounds were well-tended.
Grass cut.
Trees pruned.
Flower beds planted.
Although there were a couple of refuse cans, the litter seemed to make it into the can, not scattered around it’s circumference on the ground like it is today.

OCI Class from early 1900's Did they litter? Not likely. Litter wasn't invented until the 1950's
A sign at the school on the West Street, North side boasts an award-winning academia programme. Great they have good marks but no concern about their environment and the shabbiness of the grounds that reflect on the entire neighbourhood. I believe if one picked up all the cigarette butts and laid them end to end, they would form a line to St Andrews/St, James Cemetery and back again- several times.

Weeds snake up between shrubbery. A crude attempt at cutting the lawn leaves flower beds- if one could call them that, looking unruly and shabby. Even though there are garbage cans and litter buckets at entrances along Borland Street East, the ground, sidewalk and edge of the street are literally covered in butts. Even the steps up to a side entrance- covered in graffiti, are really nothing more than one huge, butt-filled ashtray.

Any recourse? What’s the answer?
It’s simple.
Stop littering dammitt!

How much easier can it be? If the students are apparently so adept at learning, why does a simple action like throwing litter in its respectful place, escape them?
Is it too much of a learning curve?
Is it too adult?
Does a student lose face with peers if they pitch litter in a can instead of the ground? I should have taken a picture of the West Street sign with the High School’s entrance in the background- the entrance where tulips fight for prominence with calf-high weeds. Where is the Simcoe County School in regards to this? Isn’t caring for the environment today a simple message?
Maybe there’s no money in the budget.
I would like to check out the exterior of Barrie High Schools. I wonder if they are well-cared for. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.
It doesn’t take an Ontario Scholar to see that a change of attitude is needed. At least in Orillia. I say get a Bylaw officer and charge ‘em. Let the parents pay a hefty fine and see if there’s progress.

Oh yes, while we’re still talking environment, another gentle reminder-

“Stop littering on the street where I live- Dammitt!!”