The Big Melt is on

The enormous grey piles of snow are vanishing and revealing a real mess.  There are always these types of days in late Winter, where the sun shines brightly and kids play in the streets after a season cooped up.  It’s always the same and we think: is this over?  It’s not, of course, but it sure feels nice to be warm outside even for a day.

The streets are badly damaged after three consecutive brutal Winters.  This one featured some zero degree nights, sub-zero wind chills and successive, layering, snowfalls. There are new cracks and potholes everywhere. Locally, we had the water mains burst in three spots, tearing up the pavement.  The authorities could only patch them and put some cones in place: it’s going to take a lot of work to repair and clean up. When I walk the dog, road sand left by the spreaders gets on to her jacket and my shoes and gets tracked into the house.  Trash is emerging from snowpiles like the corpse in a detective novel.

As we walk, it’s pick, pick, pick.  A one block circle brings in the usual detritus from upended recycling cans, casually tossed This Week coupon clipper, out-the-window beer cans and bottles, coffee cups, water bottles candy wrappers and cardboard.  More of the same trash that’s always turning up. Notably absent is fast food: though I don’t know why.  I ‘recover’ four or five deposit beverage containers.

As I’m walking it occurs to me that it would have been nice to have an easy metric to know how much trash I’ve removed from the community in the course of my local wanderings.  I don’t. It’s not because I didn’t think of tallying up the trash, I did.  But I haven’t bothered to keep up with it; counting, weighing and the like.  I’m not even taking photos as frequently.  As has been intimated to me – who wants to look at pictures of trash?  Indeed.

When I started this blog, I was full of ideas about how to catalog my findings. But like most new activities in life, I have gradually reduced this one to the essentials – a pick stick, a repurposed plastic bag from the store, the odd blog entry. I just do it, like the Nike slogan says, me and the dog.  It’s a habit with a purpose and it makes me feel good and that’s enough. For the record: Today I picked up 1 grocery bag of trash.


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