Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Diapers on the street -- Not cool.

Not cool.
Originally uploaded by squidpants
I saw this the other day on 13th Street around Columbia: it's a bunch of dirty diapers. This is not cool.

There's a bag with them, but they couldn't wait to put them in a trash can? Come on.


  1. could you please also do a story on the trash at holmead and meridian on the south side of the street?

    i have been walking by here every day for several months and it is constantly trashed.

  2. Yuk. Those are going to be there for months, because understandably nobody's going to want to touch them.

  3. @jellyroll, do you live near there? If so, just pick it up once in a while. Trash on the streets is a fact of life in the city, and no expose will make it disappear. But unlike crime and crappy schools this is a problem that citizens can very easily take care of themselves.

    It really doesn't take much time. I pick up trash when I walk my dog once a day. It's a really minor effort, but the three blocks that I cover every day stay completely clean.

    I'm just one person. The other side is, if you keep it up every day or two, it's a lot less likely to be a trash magnet going forward. A lot less litter appears regularly since I've been doing this on my own block, people are probably less likely to dump stuff on a clean street than one that's already a mess.

  4. sorry jamie, but if you saw the area, i am not sure that you would be interested in touching the things that are there.

    i walk my dog too, but i also am a teacher in the DC public schools who just moved here. (how ironic is that)

    after asking all day for things to be fixed in my school, and nothing is ever taken care of, i guess i am kind of exhausted at the end of the day...

    i clean up my own dog's potty, but then i end up stepping in someone else's that was not picked up.

    i guess i won't comment again on this blog...

  5. I live around the corner at 11th and Otis. I pick up trash on Spring road. Believe me, I pick up some nasty stuff sometimes. Once in a while I'll see something I don't want to touch with my bare hands and come back later with latex gloves.

    I'm not trying to say everyone or anyone is obligated to do this kind of thing. Not everyone has time or feels comfortable. For me, though, it's a really easy way to make a difference.

    You certainly have no obligation to do things like this, but they don't get done any other way. The simple reality is you can take control or do nothing. I got sick of looking at trash on my street, so I did something and I don't have to any more. Picking up a few bottles and cans every day is really a minor effort for me. But like I said your tolerance for this might be different.

    FWIW I work all day too. I pick up trash in the morning, though.

  6. All, if there's trash around the area you can call 311 or report it at src.dc.gov, or if it's a common problem, try emailing Jim Graham. His staff is good with that kind of thing.

  7. Dude, my previous very trashy neighbors used to toss dirty diapers out their back door into the alley all the time. Occasionally into the front. I think the city cleaned up their back yard 3 times before i gave up and moved. I'm pretty sure that family will be there forever.

  8. i would of taken some of those for myself.

  9. Actually Jamie, trash on the streets does NOT have to be a fact of life (Japan). It is a matter of values, common courtesy. This isn't a cigarette butt, it's a bag of dirty diapers from a kid (hopefully) that has who knows what (esp in DC).

    People have a natural aversion to someone else's trash (esp waste). If you don't...have at it. Don't expect other people to partake in oscarphilia because it works for you.

  10. @Bitter, I'm not living in Japan.

    If you read my comments I said, repeatedly, that I don't have an expectation that everyone or anyone should do this, and that I completely understand that everyone has different tolerances, ability, and time to do this.

    But my feeling is, complaining about trash, while doing nothing about it, is just complaining. Complaining does not make trash go away.

    So either accept it as a fact of your environment, or do something about it. There are so many problems of life in the city that we really have no control over. This is one of the few that just a minor effort by even a fraction of the members of the community can actually make a big difference. I have chosen to do something about it. I don't judge others for not doing so, and I am really surprised that you would basically judge me (oscarphilia??) for actually caring about my community and taking the time to do something to improve it.
    Feel free to do whatever you want. I have never held anyone in lower regard because they are just living their lives and don't have the time or inclination to deal with stuff like this.

    But seriously, I am really surprised that simply suggesting that instead of just complaining about trash you could pick it up once in a while if it bothers you, has resulted in this kind of response.

    At least on my street, there are a many people who are concerned with life in the neighborhood beyond their front door. They maintain their treeboxes, they keep their sidewalk clean, and so on. They accept that living in the city is not perfect and their are factors beyond their control, like people who throw trash on the sidewalk.
    And they are appreciative of the efforts of others to do the same, not scornful.


Please don't advertise in the comments, and please enter some kind of name when you comment instead of being anonymous.

If the post is more than 28 days old, your comment must be approved first.