Tag Archives: junk

The Road is not your trash can

What causes people to throw trash and cigarette butts out their car window? Do they really want our neighbourhood to look like a dirty land fill?

I can’t think of any logical explanation as to why drivers toss garbage on roads, highway exits, and parking lots other then sheer laziness. Perhaps it was the beating I got as a kid when my father caught me throwing a Hubba Hubba wrapper out the window that knocked some sense into me.

But what’s with people these days? Can’t you wait till you get home to throw that big mac wrapper in the trash?

It’s like they don’t care about keeping the streets and city they live in clean. Well, maybe it’s about damn time I come to your house and dump all my garbage on your front lawn. Heck, maybe I’ll bring my dog and let him do his business too (okay i’m kidding…kind of).

Fact is garbage is all over the cities we live in and there’s no reason it needs to be. It’s on the side of our highways and roads. It’s in our lakes and rivers. It’s in our parks and soccer fields. It’s scattered across fast food parking lots. It’s probably even in your garden too.

Litter is everywhere we look, and it’s about time something is done about it.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I used to throw my apple cores out the car when nobody was looking. Sometimes I’d even have competitions with friends to see how far we could spit our gum out the window.

But I’m an adult now. And I try to act like one.

I was getting off the 403 at the Winston Churchill exit the other day. While waiting at the traffic lights a man in his mid 40’s rolled down his window and emptied out every single piece of garbage in his car onto the grass (already filled with glass bottles and cigarette packages). I’m talking coffee cups, pop cans, french fries containers and even an empty bag of Oreos. The light turned green and the man drove off as if his trash was some sort of fertilizer for the grass.

So I followed him.

At the next lights I pulled up beside him and rolled down my window.

Me: “Umm, excuse me Sir. I think you dropped something back there”.

The man looked at me like I was a three headed alien from Prometheus.

Him: “The fuck your problem man? This is Canada. I can do whatever I want to”

Me: “Well, actually you can’t. Littering is against the law here, sir. Can’t you wait to throw it out at home?”

Him: “What are you the litter police or something?”

The light turned green and the thought of throwing my half eaten frosty across the man’s windshield crossed my mind.

“Have a nice day sir” I yelled out the window as the grumpy old man chirped his tires speeding away from the intersection.

The point I am trying to make is that throwing any type of trash out of the window is simply inexcusable.

You’re getting out of the car sooner or later anyways, so why not dispose of it properly instead of tossing it on the road for someone else to clean up?

People who do this, with the “somebody else will take care of it” mentality, have no respect for themselves, other people’s property, and the environment.

And apparently in the year of 2017, people still need a reminder not to throw their junk out of a moving vehicle. Flying food at 80 kilometers per hour is surprisingly dangerous. Paper cups, fast food bags, and big mac containers flying out of car windows are like missiles sure to leave a bruise on cars behind you.

This includes smokers.

They’ll either flick the butts out the window of a moving car or come to an intersection and dump the ashtray right onto the ground.

Just look at left hand side of any intersection with a stoplight. You’ll find hundreds of cigarette butts left by smokers waiting to make a left turn.

In fact, you usually don’t have to walk far to find a cigarette butt on the road. A lot of people who do smoke toss the butt out the window when they are done. Not only is this an extreme fire hazard (the still lit orange guys that bounce off your windshield) and a filthy habit, it also contributes to the toxic chemicals that lead into our waterways.

Cigarette butts are the most abundant type of litter found in our roadways and are one of the deadliest forms of waste littered.

In fact, cigarette butts make up nearly 15 percent of all small litter items in Ontario.

For all the smokers reading this, enjoy your cigarette but think of others and respect the environment. Fires caused by discarded cigarettes results in millions of damages as well as the destruction of human life, wildlife, and ecosystems.

So please use your goddam ash tray.

The fact is we all suffer from these disgusting actions whenever we drive through the city. Throwing trash and cigarette butts out of the window of your car is about the stupidest thing you can do.

A city of Toronto bylaw already exists to punish those who choose to litter, fining offenders $365 who decide to “take out the trash” during their commute.

But bylaws like this are rarely enforced so until they are these pigs will continue to pollute our city, our air, and our neighbourhoods.

So the next time you see someone chucking trash or cigarette butts out the window, I have one simple suggestion.

SAY SOMETHING!

Make them feel guilty, call them out on it, and let them know that this is NOT acceptable. There’s a tiny chance you’ll knock some sense into them and make them change their filthy ways.

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