At my local beach in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, dogs are banned from the sand from early June to mid-September every year. In all honesty, it’s people who should be banned. That was my gut reaction as I walked by on Tuesday morning when the dirt and flotsam left behind by Monday’s beach bunnies was still for all to see.
There are a couple of trash cans on the path that runs alongside the beach – one Bigbelly one and one for pizza boxes. Both were awash with debris, some of which was now well scattered all the way.
Disgusted, I ducked under the railroad arch and crossed the street into the park, hoping for some respite from the roaming bullies. Far from being a sight for sore eyes, it was one that made your eyes ache. Let me paint you a more concrete picture.
At 10:30 a.m., the small local park initially looked like a scene from a French Impressionist painting. Young mothers lay in the grass with their toddlers while some locals tended the flower beds. The slender lavender pods were particularly vibrant, creating a beautiful veil of purple as the sunshine danced off the blooms. How idyllic, I thought. But then, as I took a broader perspective, that changed.
The larger image gave me the unsavory sight of three crows fighting over a discarded chicken carcass while two bins next to it overflowed with trash – plastic bottles, unfinished groceries, beer cans, pizza boxes.
Across the street and right in front of the darts station, the first sight that greeted visitors to my seaside town on Tuesday was another trash can overflowing with trash. The sidewalk was also littered with debris.
What do people not understand about garbage? Trash cans aren’t magical containers – when they’re full, they’re full. Surely you have to walk a bit further until you find a trash can that isn’t full. But ultimately what’s the problem when it comes to boxes and bottles when you take them home?
Good weather produces trash and trash bullies; That’s a given. The problem, however, is that overflowing bins aren’t just a problem in 33-degree heat. And anyway, it’s a one-way street.
Yes, people need to be more careful when disposing of their rubbish. But the local councils also have to pull themselves together. That the trash from the previous day was still strewn all over my town just before 11 a.m. is not good enough.
I called the council and was driven from A to B to C. There is apparently only one truck covering Greystones and the surrounding area. But why not just start work earlier? Someone would call me back immediately, they said. I’m still waiting.
In my “second home” Venice, a city with its own problems, street cleaning is certainly not one of them. There the craftsmen with their “witches’ brooms” are out and about before 6 a.m., sweeping, collecting rubbish and emptying rubbish bins. By 8:30 a.m., the job is done and the area is clean for workers, school children, tourists, or anyone who hits the city streets. That’s how you do it.
Yes, we all have to take much more responsibility. But it is also the responsibility of those specifically tasked with keeping our environment clean. And it’s about time they moved on.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/why-ban-dogs-from-the-beach-when-litter-louts-are-the-real-problem-41856554.html Why ban dogs from the beach when trash bullies are the real problem?