(This article reflects the opinions of the writer and not The Centreville Press.)

After spending two days with my fellow volunteers picking up trash off of the sides of the road, I admit my mind couldn’t help but draft an open letter to the individuals who left the litter, but more so to the ones who had left yet even more litter in between the two pick up dates, hindering the progress that had already been made.  

We all have compulsive habits, don’t we? For example, much to the chagrin of everyone who knows me, sometimes I simply must break into speaking like Kermit the Frog when I get the sillies. While mine is seemingly harmless (though you likely should confer with those who must suffer it first before arriving at your own conclusion), to those who feel the need to compulsively litter, I do have just a few requests. We can all find a compromise, can’t we? Let’s see what we can do.  

  1. If you must relieve yourself while driving down the road, please consider using a Mt. Dew bottle so that we can at least pretend it’s not pee.  
  2. To the person who seemingly ate the exact same breakfast or snack of Vienna sausages at the exact same stretch of road every day for what I estimate to be 34 years – congrats on the ability to be consistent! Many envy your ability to hold a routine. No notes, except you know, just consider using a trash can instead.  
  3. Instead of “Please Do Not Litter” signs, perhaps the vast number of liquor and beer bottles may suggest that a “Have You Considered Looking into Alcoholics Anonymous Today?” sign or two might be more effective.  
  4. Consider attaching a short note to the most random objects you throw out so the picker uppers are not left in the misery of mystery as to just how it got there. (To the person who threw a feminine pleasure product out of their moving vehicle, you don’t have to tell you who you are, but I am dying to know what kind of day you were having when this occurred. Send me an anonymous letter, an encrypted message, something. There is a story here. Oh, and the same is the case for the person who threw out a bowling ball. Was your game that bad, bud?)  
  5. This is not a note to those who litter (though there may be some significant overlap, but my longitudinal study is currently in the early development stages) but to the ones who cannot seem to slow down their vehicles, nay, not even tap their brakes, when they see litter cleanup efforts: could you please have your flashers on so that it could at least give the semblance of you rushing to some kind of emergency given your speed and reluctance to relinquish a single mile per hour? Thank you so kindly.  
  6. Hey, hunters! If you must lure your deer to their demise by feeding them corn, please make sure that the bags the corn was originally in are secured in your truck before you just throw it in the back and let the wind handle it for you. It IS traditionally your job to take out the trash as a man, is it not? Don’t let the wind show you up like that. Have some respect for your sense of masculinity, come on.  
  7. Before throwing out a Styrofoam cup or food container, imagine in your mind’s eye what it might feel like to pick up 1,374,899 pieces of something. Obviously unrelated, but have I ever mentioned that Styrofoam crumbles over time?  
  8. If you must throw garbage out of your moving vehicle, I beg that you wait until you are on a stretch of flat ground. Rappelling down a ditch to pick up Pepsi bottles and Pringle cans is no one’s idea of a good time. (And if it sounds like a good time to you? Give me a call, I just might have a job for you.)  

I mean, I’m not mad or anything. I’ve taken my deep breaths and counted to 10. I’m good. I didn’t need to write this for any cathartic purposes at all.  

So, what do you say, folks? Can we strike a deal? Just let me know.  


Your Friendly but Verbose Neighborhood Litter Pickup Volunteer