Sunday, October 23, 2016

Viewpoint: What about a King and Queen of Litter?

I inadvertently stepped in some particularly pungent dog poop earlier this week, and didn’t realise it until I got back into my car, writes Brian Byrne. This had stinking consequences for footwear, car mat, and pedals, and left me with such a general sense of dirtiness that I washed everything I was wearing, after I had scrubbed out the car.

So, I want to give a big shout out to express my appreciation for a dog owner of Friday in Kilcullen who, unlike that other owner, carefully bagged their dog's waste.

And who then equally carefully parked it behind the guard stone at the Credit Union side of the entrance to The Valley. So that somebody else could find it and dispose of it properly. Like a Kilcullen Tidy Towns litter volunteer. After all, that's what the volunteers are there for, isn't it? To pick up your dog's shit.

So, thanks for being so thoughtful. You win my Litter King of the Week crown (or Queen, if that's gender appropriate).

You were up against some tough competition, though. The pizza eater who likes curry sauce, or maybe doesn't ... else why so much of it still in the pizza box? He (doubt it was a she) did a great spread of the remains and wrapping on the footpath on Friday night. Would you have met him, while walking your dog, and hiding its poop? Probably not, I suspect walking dogs and eating pizza on the street probably happen at different times of a night.

Pity in a way. You both might have been able to compare littering techniques.

Anyway the two of you were in good litter company over the last couple of days. Like whoever discarded an item of small black clothing (!) on the way home on Friday night. And the usual dumps on the street of takeaway meal bags, cardboard coffee cups, soft drink cans and water bottles. Chocolate bar wrappers remained at consistent levels, as did betting slips and tiny red pens, but there was a healthy increase in the amount of broken glass on the footpath on the CPC side of the road.

At one point it seemed that the litter brigade were losing their touch at the bus stop area, with fewer discarded coffee cups and cans in evidence. Until one looked through the railings and realised that some waiting passengers had thoughtfully thrown their detritus out of immediate sight into the Convent Garden behind.

Thoughtful too, the car owner who cleared out his or her vehicle in Sunbury and tidily piled four empty cigarette packets close together, to make them easier for picking up.

And all that was just on one Tidy Towns volunteer's section. The six or seven others who work their stretches will doubtless have their own Litter King and Queen titles to bestow.

Could this be developed into an area competition, to replace the Community Capers of the 1960s, 1970s? Maybe with a Kilcullen Litter Festival finale, where the overall winning Litter King and Queen could be immolated on their respective piles of trash, in tribute to the Great God of Dirty Behaviour?

Immolated in effigy, of course. But the winners might get a nice warm feeling watching their images go up in smoke.

This just may be worth thinking through ...