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Balderdasha's 2021 litter picking thread

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    Balderdasha's 2021 litter picking thread

    This thread is likely to be only of interest to me.

    So, I've just done my first litter pick of the year, while taking my son to the local park on his scooter. There are always adventures to be had in the local park. The painted rocks have been moved from their snake configuration and all placed on a bench. My son managed to ride up and down the skate ramps on his scooter for the first time. A little puppy called Bella stole one of my son's new gloves, but the owner managed to get it back and return it.

    But anyway, in terms of litter picking, I'm curious how much I gather over the course of a year, so my plan is to record it on here.

    Today I filled two Ocado carrier bags with rubbish. Strangest finds were part of a Christmas cracker and a neon orange golf tee. Best find was a shiny pound coin.

    #2
    I'm hoping that having this thread will encourage me to walk and litter pick most days, as I have recently become far too sedentary and home bound.

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      #3
      Our community litter picks have stopped because of covid but you can get pink bags and go out solo. I think I might ask for some because the amount of trash on the streets is annoying and it is good exercise.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Balderdasha View Post
        This thread is likely to be only of interest to me.

        As a bit of a litter obsessive this is probably going to become my new favourite thread.

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          #5
          So sad that there are so many filthy pigs dropping litter that this is even necessary

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            #6
            Originally posted by fatbear View Post
            So sad that there are so many filthy pigs dropping litter that this is even necessary
            It's far too easy to get angry like that. I prefer to think that most of the litter was put in a bin once and then has blown out because of the wind, or fallen out on the route to the bin lorry, or been dragged out by a wild animal.

            And the litter that is obviously put there by humans often tells a sad story. The empty beer cans and cigarette butts by the benches seem to me to have been left by someone lonely or troubled possibly. I find litter that seems to have been left by homeless people, and in their same horrible situation, who knows whether I would do the same?

            I also muse on times when I was a drunken teenager, leaving smashed bottles in the street. I wasn't deliberately antisocial, just drunk and hormonal and a bit lost. I just happen to be in a more stable period of my life currently when I can clean up after others.

            These sorts of thoughts stop me from hating all humanity while I'm litter picking.

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              #7
              I've often seen seagulls pulling rubbish out of bins and chucking it on the floor. I've also seen humans just dropping stuff when they should know better.

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                #8
                All very charitable of you Balders, but round my way I believe the majority of the litter on the floor is from people who can't be bothered to walk 20 yards to put their rubbish in a bin, or find it easier to throw out of the car window. Just like 90% of people who can't be bothered to take their empty glasses to the bar ( when pubs were open ) and leave them on their table. When I suggest to people they could take their empties back to the bar they look at me as if I am an idiot..............Thankfully the bar staff are grateful for my actions.

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                  #9
                  I always* take my glasses back to the bar. And do so before I leave so that I can say Goodnight (or whatever) to the staff.

                  *This was in the Before Times...

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
                    I always* take my glasses back to the bar. And do so before I leave so that I can say Goodnight (or whatever) to the staff.

                    *This was in the Before Times...
                    Our industry thanks you.

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                      #11
                      A lot of the bigger pubs in Dublin tended to employ glass picker uppers (20 years ago they were all Chinese or Spanish, more likely to be Brazilians before the pubs shut). Do such floor staff exist in U.K. cities?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
                        A lot of the bigger pubs in Dublin tended to employ glass picker uppers (20 years ago they were all Chinese or Spanish, more likely to be Brazilians before the pubs shut). Do such floor staff exist in U.K. cities?
                        Yeah. But it tends to be in big pubs and for busy shifts.

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                          #13
                          I have memories of pubs in Birmingham and London where auld fellas would pick up the glasses in exchange for free drinks.

                          I am obsessed with litter too. I once composed (if that’s not too grand a word for it) a short song called ‚Litter-Dropping Scum‘ that is a lot less tolerant towards litter-droppers than Balders, but her reflective post has made me feel slightly guilty about the song‘s advocated solution of terminating litter-droppers on the spot with a heavy weapon, no questions asked. Fortunately, it‘s not on general release.

                          I get odd looks when reffing and interrupt my pre-game warm-up to pick up something off the pitch, or even at the side of it, and then run to the nearest litter bin with a judgmental look on my face. Once, it was the packaging for an eight-inch rubber dildo. I‘m living in the right country for it now, though - in Frankfurt the municipal authorities have regular clean-ups of the parks and streets no matter what the wildlife or scavengers have re-distributed during the night.

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                            #14
                            One of the largest participatory charities in the Isle of Man is a group called Beach Buddies who organize beach letter clean up’s. They have done a huge amount of great work over the last 10 years or so, but there’s always more to do as we have a lot of coastline.

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                              #15
                              I started off taking glasses back as a kindness; it has always seemed like a cunty move to just walk out leaving glasses, a kind of Downton Abbey level of superiority assumed over the lower orders behind the bar. I later discovered it was a great way to get served quicker too as bar staff use the fact that you have done a nice thing to elevate you from the throng at the bar. And if the bar is particularly busy, you can load up and have a lot of glasses to return, which you can use to part the red sea of customers and get to the bar, deposit the glasses near the potwasher and then be in prime position to get served thereafter.

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                                #16
                                Why can't people in the UK (and elsewhere?) simply use the same glasses for repeat drinks? Saves on washing-up for one thing.

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                                  #17
                                  In the pub, I clear our table on leaving, returning glasses and folded crisp packets to the bar, both for the staff and for the next punters.

                                  ​​​​​In the coffee shop, I stack cups and plates on the tray, but leave it on the table: partly as there's no obvious "bar" to which to return it, partly to help the staff, but also as a helpful signal to staff that the table probably needs a wipe down for the next customer. I don't know why that logic doesn't apply in the pub.

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                                    #18
                                    On occasion, when there's a holdup on the motorway or a dual carriageway, it gives one pause to look at the hedges on the verge. They're invariably full of litter. Cans, bottles, food wrapping. This can only have got there by thousands of people just tossing it as they drive along. We're a nation of utter scum.

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                                      Why can't people in the UK (and elsewhere?) simply use the same glasses for repeat drinks? Saves on washing-up for one thing.
                                      Because there will be traces of your saliva in your glass, which will transfer onto the end of the pump nozzle when they're pouring your next pint (particularly if you've got a rather lively barrel, it's easier to put the nozzle into the glass). So it's a hygiene thing.

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                                        #20
                                        Second litter picking expedition of the year. Took the kids to a different park at lunch time. Filled another two carrier bags with rubbish. Biggest haul was from one of the benches in the park where someone had obviously had a bit of an outdoor party recently. Empty beer bottles, cigarette packets, little transparent plastic bags, face masks, sweet wrappers, lighters, and, rather incongruously one bright pink fluffy winter sock.

                                        Again, I could get righteously angry, or I could imagine that it was maybe two siblings, unable to meet anywhere inside, who'd recently lost a parent to Covid-19, had been unable to have a proper funeral and were meeting to drown their sorrows. I don't know the real story, but I find it better to not assume that everyone is a total arsehole.

                                        One of the tricky parts with litter picking is that I have to get over my perfectionism, and accept that there are some pieces of litter I can't collect. They're either inaccessible or too heavy (like the car tyre I saw in the river today). Or sometimes I'm walking at speed with my kids and I only collect the easiest pieces to grab on the way. I may not get all the rubbish, but whatever I do collect improves the local environment.

                                        Interesting finds today: a nerf gun pellet, a full set of plastic cups, the aforementioned pink fluffy sock (why would anyone take a sock off outside in the UK in January?)

                                        Total litter picking expeditions to date: 2
                                        Total bags of rubbish collected to date: 4

                                        Part of me wants to precisely weigh the rubbish I collect, but that is absolutely not going to happen, so I will be using the imprecise measure of number of carrier bags filled.
                                        Last edited by Balderdasha; 04-01-2021, 14:12.

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Balderdasha View Post
                                          I find it better to not assume that everyone is a total arsehole.
                                          You are a better person than I*.

                                          *FTAOD - I am a total arsehole

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by pebblethefish View Post

                                            Because there will be traces of your saliva in your glass, which will transfer onto the end of the pump nozzle when they're pouring your next pint (particularly if you've got a rather lively barrel, it's easier to put the nozzle into the glass). So it's a hygiene thing.
                                            Did people get iller in the past when glasses were refilled? No idea, just asking.

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                                              #23
                                              EIM is a changed man. Two replies with quotes to this thread, and neither of them are to complain about the use of "seagull". This is how this pandemic has recalibrated people.

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
                                                I've often seen seagulls pulling rubbish out of bins and chucking it on the floor. I've also seen humans just dropping stuff when they should know better.
                                                One of the most satisfying things that I've ever witnessed was when I was walking on campus in college. There was a guy a few paces in front of me, and a few paces in front of him were two professor-looking types walking and having a conversation. One of the two of them threw some kind of food wrapper on the ground as he was walking and talking. Which is even more inexcusable because there are trash cans everywhere on campus, he could have waited about 30 seconds and passed another one that he could have used. Anyway, the guy in front of me picked up the trash, jogged up to the two guys and said "you accidentally dropped this" and push the wrapper into the guy's hand and walked away.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Balderdasha View Post
                                                  why would anyone take a sock off outside in the UK in January?
                                                  At risk of lowering the tone, maybe they were knocking one out? Using a wank sock would have preserved their modesty and kept their lad warm at the same time.

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