Because we live on Main Street, we walk our dog on various routes that can include Main Street, Katharine Lee Bates Road, Dillingham Avenue, Locust Street, the bike path, Nye Road, Queen Street, King Street, Shore Street, Walker Street, the harbor, Falmouth Heights Road, Robbins Road, Scranton and Clinton avenues, and the neighborhoods in that area near us.
Once a week or so we pick up litter. Our experience is that the route with the most litter is the corner of Main and along Scranton Avenue. Here we pick up lots of nips (mainly Fireball), beer cans, Big Gulp cups, coffee cups, lottery and scratch tickets, cigarette wrappings and empty packs (Newport and Marlboro), and occasionally discarded clothing (gloves and jackets). I was picking up nips behind John’s Liquor Store and one of the workers drove up. I said to him, “You have a real nip problem here.” He said, “I pick them up, too, but there is not much I can do about the customer that litters.” It was a pleasant conversation and he gave me permission to put the trash I had collected in his dumpster.
The areas that are very clean are 704 Main Street, the library lawn and near St. Barnabas Church.
Near Liam’s there is a cigarette receptacle but sadly all around this receptacle are cigarette filters on the ground. The cigarette filters are difficult to clean up and are everywhere we go.
I find myself thinking about the people who litter. I was told about a woman who rents an apartment near me. My friend saw her discard lint from her dryer by banging the lint catcher on a telephone pole outside her door and letting the wind take the lint out of sight. Did she not care about our neighborhood? From the trash I pick up, I have learned a few things about the people who litter. They like to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and sugary drinks, and buy lottery tickets. I wonder why they don’t care about litter. Are they messy, careless people? Are their cars messy? Do they live in messy areas? Do they have kids or friends that don’t care about litter?
Some of my friends are amused that I am picking up litter. I think some think I am a little weird. So it was wonderful to read Tom E. Weaver’s letter about his litter pickup efforts in North Falmouth. Remember years ago the slogan, “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute?” Maybe we need to bring it back and add a new slogan to inspire everyone to be a “Litter Picker-Upper.”
It isn’t weird, it is good exercise and I feel good when I am done. The neighborhood looks a little better, too.
Margaret E. Sabens