Messy Business

Most human beings are basically lazy. They can’t seem to pick up after themselves. They can’t seem to be able to teach their kids to pick up after themselves. And this makes me mad. If you really want to piss me off, throw your garbage out the car window. It amazes me how many people do this and don’t think there is anything wrong with doing it.

I once saw a woman change her baby’s diaper in a parking lot and leave the dirty disposable diaper on the pavement and drive away. I yelled from a distance but was ignored. What kind of person would do such a thing? Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon event. If it is not a dirty diaper, it is something else, like fast food containers or bags of dog poo.

I remember being made aware of the downside of littering in elementary school. I am talking grade one or two, which made me six or seven. There was a cartoon with Donald Duck trying to get through a forest that was filling up with litter. The details are vague right now but the message was one I never forgot. Given the fact that I am now sixty-four, litter has been an issue for a very long time; but most people don’t appear to acknowledge that. 

People will actually drive out into the woods to dump old sofas, mattresses, used carpet and other things. Here in Nova Scotia, these things will be picked up by waste management if you put them out on the correct day and prepare them properly. For example: carpet and underlay need to be cut into four-feet-wide strips, rolled and tied for easy pickup. This is a whole lot easier than loading it into a truck or car, driving to some secluded place, then unloaded the truck or car. Don’t you think?

Similar people appear to be running a lot of big businesses these days. They have no concern for the environment, only for the bottom line. What is even more upsetting is the fact that some of these people are running the waste management businesses across the country. In the last few years, it was discovered that some companies in the business of managing and recycling waste are loading it into containers and shipping it to countries such as India, Indonesia and a variety of third-world countries. All because it is cheaper and easier to do. I am ashamed to admit that there are Canadian companies guilty of this, and they have paid the puny fines given out by the government and continue to do this. The whole process makes me sick. I do my part, or more than my part, to reduce, reuse and recycle and feel very let down by all of this. And by the way, Canada isn’t the only Western country with companies guilty of this.

With people ordering more and more online, there is so much waste from packaging and damaged goods that it is mind boggling. Styrofoam, which goes straight to the landfill, is still often used to protect breakable objects. Corrugated card board is also coming to our doors in abundance; and although we flatten it and tie it in the manner that is required to be picked up by waste management, I wonder where it ends up. It is not environmentally friendly.

Just last week, I received a mirror that I ordered from Amazon for the bathroom that is being redone downstairs due to our leaky pipe. A very simple 36 x 24 inch mirror with a black frame. I couldn’t find anything local when I originally looked. Before it arrived, I did find a local mirror that was just about the same. The Amazon mirror arrived, and I would have kept it because I hate returning things, except for the fact that the frame was obviously marked. So I made arrangements for the return.

In the past, Amazon had provided shipping labels for the only two returns I ever made, and I dropped the items off at my nearest post office. This time round there was a third and default option which was to have them pick it up. Now that’s convenient.

On the day the pickup was to occur, I received an email saying the driver was on the way. It also said: No label. No packaging. No Worry. Our driver will take care of it. 

The driver arrived in a car, a typical young man’s black sporty-looking vehicle. A vehicle that spoke about a desired image and that probably cost more than the young man could currently afford. He took a picture of the package at my front door then maneuvered it into the back seat. He did not add any labels. Nor did he have any packing or labeling equipment stuffed into his car. There wouldn’t have been any room.

A year or so ago I read an article about online returns to various companies being trashed because it was much cheaper then return shipping and restocking fees. As the pickup car drove away, it dawned on me that this package wasn’t going anywhere but to a dumpster. And I have been feeling guilty about that ever since.

Thank you for reading. 

Photo: John Cameron @john_cameron Unsplash

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13 thoughts on “Messy Business

  1. I didn’t know that about the returns being trashed – I’m shocked!

    As a country child, we always knew how bad litter was – after having to try to drag polythene bags out of cows’ throats and suchlike we knew all about the dangers and undesirability.

    I was once following a marked company van through Wales and the driver threw out some litter. I blasted him with my horn and got the usual rude sign. So, I reported him to his company and told them their driver was giving them a bad name. They were pretty annoyed about it so I think they hopefully dealt with him.

    Another time, I was following a young moslem lad’s car through Bradford and he threw some litter out of the car. Again, I blasted him and shouted at him (it was summer so we all had our windows open). With his background, he really didn’t think a woman should be telling him what to do – especially a white woman – so he was really abusive about it. So, having his number plate straight in front of me, I made a note of it and reported him to Bradford Council – they fined him! 🙂 They even have a website to report ‘littering from vehicles’ which is great!

    But no wonder we have so much rampant disease around when people leave soiled nappies in public areas (I’ve seen people do it here) – you can’t imagine what goes through their heads… if anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. People that see the Earth as their dumping ground make me angry. Our city picks up the recycling once a week. It’s so easy, and yet some can’t even do that. Around here, people just put our random crap on the sidewalk for days at a time, hoping someone will walk off with it. Not only is it tacky, but it can be dangerous. I’ve heard of three people hurting themselves when stepping off the curb to avoid somebody’s junk. You take a wrong step, especially the elderly, and take a tumble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here we can’t put anything out until 7:30 the night before pickup. If it is not prepared properly it gets a rejection sticker that both frustrates and embarrasses people. Directions for what and how things go for pickup is on line. My husband loves the Ap.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, don’t get me started on this. When we lived on the farm, we would go out every spring and collect the trash along the road. You wouldn’t believe how much and what kind of things people throw out. I once found a cell phone and was able to track the owner. He said he tossed it out the window because it made him mad.

    Liked by 1 person

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