There’s a Lot of Litter We Can Pick Up

Yesterday, I brought a garbage bag on my morning walk because street trash ruins my relaxing vibe. Fully masked and gloved, I went from my Verdugo apartment to Mayor’s Bicentennial Park, picking up debris.
I’ve lived in Glendale since 1990 and have never seen anyone cleaning up litter, so I do. I pick up Starbucks and Boba Time cups, water bottles, etc., from my block, every few weeks.
As I made my way to the 2 overpass, my garbage bag was half-full. There were so many masks and gloves I wondered, “What’s so hard about tossing your mask and gloves in your own trash?” Plus, those thousands of cigarette butts we see leach toxic arsenic and lead, etc., into the environment daily.
And it’s clear from the drain covers that say “Drains to Ocean” where the litter ends up.
At the overpass, food bags and beverage containers sat as though waiting for room service. I picked up plastic bags and cups deliberately put in bushes. I grabbed a plastic straw that splintered in my glove and will probably end up in our water supply.
A young, homeless-looking man walking by kindly helped me pick up trash. Another man stepped out of his Mercedes to thank me for cleaning up, and I wondered why no one picks up the trash in front of his home.
At the park, someone had a birthday party leaving confetti everywhere, then stuffed their garbage into one can, leaving it spilling out, even though another can sat within a few yards. I ended up with an overstuffed garbage bag, two packed plastic grocery bags, and even more trash.
If everyone on Earth picked up debris in front of their home or business, we’d have a clean planet. Can’t businesses ask customers not to litter?
If we can’t pull together during a pandemic, when can we?
Whether you rent or own, walk outside and pick up the trash on YOUR street, or in your park, because people will more likely litter if garbage is already there.
If we all took responsibility, Glendale really could be the jewel city.

Fran Tunno

One Man’s Trash Patrol Keeps Mountains Tidier

La Cañada High School hosted a “Be the Change Day” a couple of years ago, an event that welcomed dozens of the community’s most interesting and creative thinkers to campus. They urged students to find original ways to make a difference in the world.
Chuck Ernst, 69, taught chemistry, physics and a little geology at another school — he’s a retired Azusa High educator — but “be the change” applies to him, too. Continue reading “One Man’s Trash Patrol Keeps Mountains Tidier”