Director's Take

Litter is Lame image

Litter is Lame


We’ve all seen the photos of turtles with straws stuck in their noses or the nets or 6-pack plastic rings that entangle dolphin or whale fins. And I know it’s hard to miss the trash that line the sides of some interstates or ramps or even along our sidewalks. It may be hard to piece together how what we do while walking around impacts the ocean, but it is easy to see the impact in our everyday lives. Too easy.

I guess I don’t understand why people litter. I’m sure some of the litter I help pick up on a daily basis is accidental; it may blow out of a nearby garbage can with the just-right wind gust or slip off a pile of documents that someone is carrying from a meeting. But, sadly, I’ve seen with my own eyes a car pull up to the curb, the driver or passenger open the car door, and literally push garbage out onto the street. What’s happened to our sense of community and shared public space that someone feels no compunction about wanting to clean their car out at the expense of people’s experience? I am frustrated that some people have lost a sense of responsibility and can’t take the few extra steps to one of the many garbage cans that line our streets to make not littering easier.

Here are a few stats: litter invites even more litter and impacts the perception of safety. Plastic waste comprises almost 40% of all litter; a plastic water bottle takes 450 years to decompose (an aluminum can takes 200 years, a glass bottle one million). Litter lowers property values by an average of 7%.

Littering will never stop, that’s why Brightside exists as an agency and why our Ambassadors have a clean team. But I sure hope it lessens. And I’m glad to know that there are many people out there who care too and who want to help. Because the bottom line is that we want to have a clean Downtown, provide a nice experience for Downtown residents, visitors, and employees, and help improve property values and perception of safety… so we will continue to clean up!

LDP is holding a series of Spring Cleanup events… please grab a team of friends and/or coworkers and join LDP for a few chances of helping clean up Downtown as we ready for warmer temperatures and activations! We are asking for help to clean the Alley Gallery doors, put a fresh coat of paint on our garbage cans, and pick up litter… and we’d love to see you helping Downtown look its best!

You can pick your shift(s) here.

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