It's All Ours

If we all took responsibility for our own mess and picked up after just one inconsiderate person, the difference would be amazing.


All last week I drove the same route to and from Brooksvale Park where I am a Nature Educator. On Still Hill Rd. near West Woods School was a bag of trash in the road.

The first morning I swerved to avoid it thinking the guy in the nearby utility truck would pick it up. In the afternoon I saw it still there and though, "It's not mine."

On Tuesday trash was spilling out of the bag and it was closer to the side of the road. I thought, "I can't believe no one has picked it up!" and kept on driving. Later that day when I spotted it I thought to myself, "Someone walking their dog will pick it up and throw it out at home," as I had just passed 3 different dog walkers in 1/4 mile.

On Wednesday it was still there and I was ticked. I could almost understand someone in a rush to get to work, bring a child to day camp, get to their nails done and saying, "I don't live here, it's not mine" and driving past. But what about the people who live in that neighborhood? Don't they care how their streets look? I purposely left it there to again see if anyone cared.

My disappointment increased on Thursday when I saw that the grass had been mowed and the trash bag was still there. The funny thing? The trash was moved from the street to the "tree lawn" but still, no one bothered to take it away. I guess they thought, "Someone else will do it."

Sometime during the week I also saw town trucks up the road a piece, more dog walkers, runners and am figuring that police, fire and other service vehicles passed that way dozens and dozens of times. Everyone ignored the black trash bag.

On Friday I gave up hoping that somoene else would care and stopped, took a photo, scooped what had fallen out, picked up the trash and broght it with me to dispose of. It was now mine.

"If everyone swept in front of his house, the whole town would be clean."

I don't know who that quote is attributed to but I think it's time we all took it to heart and swept in front of our houses and that means sometimes cleaning up after those who aren't as considerate.

In the end, it's all ours.

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Ted B August 25, 2012 at 05:41 PM
It is interesting to note that this happened in the northern part of Hamden. Probably someone dumped the bag there. I've seen it happen on my street several times over the years, and many times it is garbage from a construction job. I just put it out with my garbage but it stinks that people are such jerks that they will dump a garbage bag on the side of the road. I don't get it at all.
Kirsten M. Walker August 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I'll never "get it" Ted but since I remember the old commercial with the Native American Indian crying by the side of the road looking at all the garbage, I'll continue to pick the junk up whenever I can.
GerryGag August 26, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I hear your aggravation Kirsten. I am always picking up garbage and litter on and off my property on a busy Hamden road. Last spring, a lawn close by to me was being cut by a guy on a ride-on mower and he ran over another neighbor's curbside newspaper (while doing a turn around), then did NOTHING to clean-up the mess. I called the police to complain about the "litter" that was now blowing on to my property, but because "the incident" didn't happen on my land there was nothing that could be done (I was told that the property owner of the newspaper had to file the complaint.) Yet, literally, dozens of pieces of cut-up newspaper were making there way to MY lawn, and the police officer even saw it, but reiterated, nothing could be done about it. The other one that bothers me is the huge uprooted tree stump by the sidewalk in front of Kohl's on Dixwell - been there since the hurricane clean-up from last year (just about a full year now). I've submitted complaints to the Hamden "help" desk, but the deadwood remains. It would literally take a a worker in a town truck five minutes to stop, pick it up and bring it to the transfer station.
Bamma C. August 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I too live on a very busy Hamden street in Northern Hamden. I find beer bottles (some broken), liquor bottles, drink cups and other assorted trash on my property on a regular basis. The street is so busy and no sidewalks that it is dangerous to walk there to pick up trash but I do it anyway because I don't want people I know to think it is MY trash.
Philip Co August 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for dog walkers to pick up any trash. When I recently hiked up the Talcott Mountain trail in Simsbury, I spotted more than a dozen plastic bags filled with dog poop that dog walkers had left next to trees along the trail. I picked up the ones I saw on my way back down the trail. I can't help but wonder how those dog walkers think it's okay to leave their poop all over the place.


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