The scourge of ScotlandRSS feed

Posted: Friday 5 March, 2004

by Dan at 9:14pm in Anything goes No comments Add your own

Today R and I both had the afternoon off work - the joys of flexi-time. We might have spent it pottering around the house, doing odd jobs in the garden or maybe just putting our feet up. But we didn't. Instead we spent 2 hours picking litter from along the road leading to our cottage, which passes through an industrial estate, with our Helping Hands. We filled 13 large black bin bags with the varied detritus of irresponsible litter-bugs.

Litter is fast becoming the scourge of Scotland (at least the bits I see regularly). The Scotland I know is without question a dirty country. Take a close look next time you're heading out - road verges are universally peppered with crisp packets, drinks cans and all manner of other items disposed by (presumably) motorists too ignorant or lazy to take their litter home or dispose of it reponsibly. No area of municipal planting is complete without its assortment of discarded plastic bags of various hues, stuck right in the middle where no-one, endowed with a helping hand or not, is able to reach them. Pavements are speckled with chewing gum spat from the mouths of the great unwashed.

Around here some people blame the local Council, but that's not fair. The Council is overburdened and under-funded by central government, and most importantly it is not the Council who drops the litter! There is only one solution - tackle the source and prevent people dropping litter, either by education or by financial penalty through fines or higher local taxation to pay for more workers to clean up after them.

I wish I'd taken before and after photographs to show here. Sadly it is an absolulte certainty that within 6 months we'll be out with our bin bags and our helping hands repeating the whole exercise, and I'll have another opportunity to illustrate the slovenly nature of the Scottish public at large.


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