Archive for Recycling Resources

Litter Kills

A baby hedgehog was ensnared in a metal champagne cork case and had to be euthanized in the United Kingdom in this news item from

Please don’t litter.


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Cigarette Butts are Litter

Here is a letter I saw on It’s written by a high school Beta Club member about litter left behind after the Extreme Makeover Home Edition folks had done their jobs:

It is no doubt that the people of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” do amazing things for families that need a miracle. But as a volunteer with my school’s Beta Club, I was disappointed with what I saw.

Our job was to pick up leftover trash in the area surrounding home, and we did our job. The majority of the trash that we saw in the neighborhood surrounding the newly built home was cigarette butts. By the end of the day, the smell of the cigarettes had soaked into my clothing.

I appreciate the hard work that was put into the project, but feel that the neighborhood deserved more respect. I understand that they need all the help they can find for projects as large and time consuming as building a house. However, I believe that a designated smoking area would be better for their cause.

Elizabeth Sydney


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Have a Great Thanksgiving Day

from The Earth Is Not a Trash Can. My blogging has been temporarily interrupted as I adapt to my new life style of looking for employment. While unemployed, I will be learning more about social media (soon to be announced) and I’m doing some contract work, along with receiving unemployment money.

Although 2008 has had some bumps for us, my husband and I are very thankful for what we have that enriches our lives. Our debt is minimal, so the lack of regular paychecks is tolerable for a while. We never go out on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) unless it is to work or to go see a movie. We don’t need another sweater, although John needs a new pair of walking shoes.

We’re healthy. His parents, who were both extremely ill during Christmas of last year, are doing better.

After stuffing the turkey tomorrow, then stuffing yourselves, go make the world a little more attractive by picking up a bag of litter along the roadways to your homes. Don’t toss out any trash during the holiday season. Celebrate Advent, Hannukah, the winter solstice or whatever you celebrate during the end of the year by picking up litter.

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Chalk Is Litter

streetchalk_1216This isn’t the first time that I’ve found this cool chalk that is manufactured now for children. They can draw on the street or sidewalk and the rain washes it away. I hope that it’s environmentally friendly.

Today was a lovely cold sunny November day when I took a walk at lunch. Since I’m looking for work, I can start early; take a break; then continue contacting my network the rest of the day. I can contact them after hours via email.

Usually, I ignore the chalk as I know a child might return to retrieve it or that the rain will wash it away.

Today, was different. What did I do with the chalk? Visit here to see my artwork.

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What Do Tennesseans Think About Litter?

I’ve had this news for a while, but haven’t reported it. Recently the University of Memphis did a survey called, Public AttitudesToward Littering In Tennessee: May 19–June 5, 2008.

Who participated in the survey? 622 Tennesseans between the ages of 18-34. Hey,what about us older folks? Age discrimination!

Here are a few highlights that interested me:

  • Less than a third of the participants have littered.
  • Less than 10% litter regularly.
  • Less than 50% of the smokers say that they dispose of their cigarette butts properly.
  • Most of the participants believed that prisoners pick up litter. Ouch! I’ve done several litter pick ups this year, and I’ve never been incarcerated.
  • Just over 50% of those surveyed recycle.

The entire survey is available on line at

Please, when you see folks picking up litter, don’t assume it’s prisoners. It’s my fellow environmentalists and me.

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Why Do Southerners Toss More Trash?

Is it the Northerners who have moved here?

Here’s a depressing story from the Florence, Ala., Times Daily. Mississippi is the worst state for litter according to the study. Others in the top ten are Alabama, Nevada, Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee.

How did Nevada make the list? I’ve been to Reno and Tahoe, but it was before my days of monitoring litter. I don’t remember large amounts of trash. I was just in New Mexico and saw some trash, but not as much as other places.

Maybe the south leads litter because of the tailgating from college football.

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Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

While this blog primarily points out the ugliness of litter, I try to promote its prevention, too. The day I photographed this cigarette butt on the side of the street, I found at least a dozen butts within a tenth of a mile. And this is a residential street, where children feel safe enough to ride their bicycles and skateboards.

Cigarette butts and smoking have always bothered me. I remember the blue fog that engulfed our living room as a child, as Daddy puffed the evening away and watched television.

In college, I decided to take up smoking during a dorm drinkfest. I bought a pack of cigarettes, which took me two weeks to finish. I detested the smell on my fingers and body. I had tried the cigs as a child either sampling a butt or stealing a cigarette out of a pack Daddy left at home. Fortunately, I hated it and never developed the habit.

Recently at the Keep America Beautiful affiliates conference in Atlanta, I learned about the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program from Bronwen Evans, a program manager for KAB.

Since cigarette smoking has been banned from most public buildings (YEAH!), more butts are being tossed on the ground. The KAB encourages businesses to put butt disposal receptacles in front of their businesses. When a neighborhood or downtown area has receptacles, the number of butts carelessly tossed on the streets is reduced.

I can’t decide if I like the items at left or not. These are portable cigarette ashtrays that the KAB hands out to smokers. I hope smokers use them. About the size of a child’s change purse, the ashtray should hold two or three butts.

I’m going to take the two that I brought back from the conference and give them to smokers in the office building where I work. The official smoking area is on Parking Level Seven, a place I’ve never before ventured. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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