An informal survey of litterers in The West End

Over the last 8 weeks of the summer several volunteers cleaned West End streets and beaches, removing weeds and garbage. Based on that experience, I share with you what we’ve noticed about litterers.

– The most frequent litter (over 75% of total garbage) includes Bud Light Beer cans, Marlboro cigarette packs and cardboard pizza plates. Not too much craft beer, only a few cigars, and limited number of sushi containers.
– People who consume 5-hour energy drinks apparently don’t have enough energy to throw the bottles in a garbage can.
– There is poor eye-hand coordination for many, who only hit the rim on the round garbage cans, failing to complete the dunk shot.
– Good to know that we found only occasional marijuana bags, and that the “protection” of choice is Trojan. (Seems like some people party-hard, ingesting a Bud, getting high, slamming down a slice, then adding protection as they consummate the night on the beach, after-which they smoke a Marlboro.)
– Some people leave their beer and soda bottles and liquid contents at the Oceanview planters. Do they think osmosis from the bottles/cans will help water the plants? It doesn’t.
– Dog owners and the careless garbage-makers tend to reduce their dog-doo and littering when there is an American flag in the tree pit. Patriotism promotes cleanliness.

Since we’ve cleaned up the initial mess we’ve noticed reduced litter, except at various beach entrances and other identifiable spots. Too bad some people still can’t be responsible enough to keep our city clean.

Any suggestions on how to reduce the Bud/Marlboro/Pizza problem? All suggestions appreciated.

Ed Glister, West End Beautification Assocation

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29 thoughts on “An informal survey of litterers in The West End”

  1. Its nice that you have a sense of humor but enforcement is the answer start issuing summons at $100 a pop and the litters wont be laughing !

  2. Enforcement?!??? There are cars speeding all over the place , rolling through stop signs , making illegal turns, all with impunity and you seriously think that they will enforce anti littering laws? At night?
    Maybe they can install hidden video cameras in the planters and ID the perps that way.

    BTW, recently there was a thread about merchants not keeping the front of their stores free of litter. Well yesterday morning an employee of the East End Key Food was out front sweeping away and even cleaning up in the gutter.

    This establishment has sponsored many community events and should be praised , and patronized, by everyone.

  3. There is so much debris from 7-11. And many beer bottles and cans placed along the sidewalk, under car tires, and other convenient surfaces – “roadies” that help transport people from house party to bar, you see.

  4. And Ed , how is the project of getting parking spaces painted on the ground coming along? And the other initiatives to ease the parking problems in WE and throughout the city?

  5. Hopefully with summer’s (and summer visitor/rental) end, the trash will ease up. Unfortunately it will not go away totally because our residents are almost as much to blame. I hate to say it, but it appears that our “young adults,” (not all, I’m not making a sweeping generalization) who I’ve come to see take very little responsibility for anything, seem to be the biggest perpetrators. We, as parents, need to address this. WE are creating a generation of irresponsible, entitled humans. I know, I know, I sound like one of those old farts that says, “I walked through blizzards for 20 miles to get to school.” I did not, but my parents sure as hell did not pay for a cab to get me there.

  6. @Ann, I have asserted that many baby boomers litter as well. Whether its from their cars, or walking g and dropping a water bottle on the ground behind them, I’m usually too surprised to begin pointing their nose into their own waste. I would say the parents could put in a world more of effort influencing the future generation. Start composting for example. Before ultimately pointing the finger and shaming an entire generation, try devoting energy to a sanitation policy that could encompass all ages, instead of reacting and sounding exactly like the person you state you don’t want to sound like.

  7. Sensel – please note that I made sure that I said I was not making a “sweeping generalization.” I agree with your comments about the baby boomers — I started composting 35 years ago. I recycled before we had recycling bins. I am in no way shaming an entire generation because at my age, young adults encompasses a wide age group.

  8. If we could only close down Chauncey’s, these littering, smoking, fornicating bums would stay out of our town and leave us good folks alone.

    But seriously, also think about the new black garbage boxes – who’s going to try to shove a pizza box or a Big Gulp cup in one of those little slots? I bet casual visitors don’t even realize what those black things are and toss their trash because they don’t see anything that looks like a ‘garbage can’ nearby.

  9. This has been and always will be my biggest pet peeve of the west end (and the center of town and the LIRR station). If and when we get a street cleaner that cleans all day long which should be paid from the merchants and my taxe dollars , I can see that being the only solution. When you a cigarette smoker, drinker or dog owner see someone constantly cleaning your inner voice should arise and tell you ” oh this place is so clean let me keep it that way” but when people see liter already on the ground they have no problem”adding to it. I sometimes think we should have a contest who can collect the most cigarette butts but that would nt solve the problem. We need the place immaculate and then people will notice. But tell me can you go without cleaning ones own house once a week ?. No you clean all the time and I mean the dishes ,the garbage ect. So should the streets. We are showing record numbers of patrons and tourist this year , there has to be more money spent on street sweepers by the city if we are to continue to grow and prosper

  10. Sum, I wrote a letter to the 7-Eleven owner and stated just what you said, commenting that he should extend his litter pick-up since his brand would be impacted because he was a source of litter. No response received. Maybe you and others can send a letter as well. Strength in numbers.

  11. Beachguy, call me at 917-312-1219. I will share status with you, but don’t want to publicize potential improvements in this forum until they are implemented.

  12. Judy, tanks, your comments are right on target. We need a 3-pronged effort (City, a Chamber, residents/visitors) to conquer this problem.

    The good news is that I can clean all the West End Beech St and Oceanview garbage in one hour. So, with the 3-pronged approach we can realize the goal you mentioned, to create a clean West End that is sustained with minimal effort and that can create a momentum for future beautification. And, this will lead to more resident satisfaction and business profitability.

  13. I have no intention of disparaging city employees, but my terrace overlooks 2 city waste receptacles and I am not impressed with the way they are emptied. If things fall out of the can en route to the truck it stays on the ground. If there is something on the ground in the immediate area around the can, it is still there after said can has been emptied and truck is gone. Do we hire sanitation workers incapable of bending down?

  14. Are dogs allowed on the beach/boardwalk? The boardwalk entrances say “no animals” but I think many of the out of towners and locals don’t know that dogs are actually animals. Next time you see one of these poor idiots let them know that their pet is actually an animal and therefore not allowed on the beach or boardwalk. If you think the crap you found was bad wait till your picking up or stepping in dog crap. Not to mention the potential to get hookworm from the dogs pooping in the sand!

  15. Judy, if you are referring to the West End Sustainable Neighborhoods Assessment then “yes”, we’ll see each other. Looking forward to continuing our conversation.

  16. Enforcement … Fines for littering are intentionally high. Along with fines comes community service. Litter in Freeport and this is what you get, a fine and community service.

  17. Ed – I’m out of town for 2 weeks and will try to call you upon my return.
    Re the 7-11 what about picketing or a boycott? They may pay attention then.
    Or maybe not.

  18. Beachguy, looking forward to our parking conversation when you return.

    Regarding 7-Eleven…soon a few of us will have a conversation with the owner, asking him to do a little moe. Let’s see if that works.

    At present, he’s compliant with the laws. What we were asking was additional effort. It’s the patrons who are more responsible. What’s needed is voluntary compliance by patrons, followed by tickets for littering, combined with business owners who understand and react to the benefits of a clean business district.

  19. I have not done the appropriate research on this so take it with a grain of salt, but this is what I’ve heard:

    While dogs are not allowed on the bwalk or beach proper, the city does not have jurisdiction under the mean high tide line. So technically if you’re walking your dog under the high tide line, the city can’t do anything. Now the obvious issue is you clearly have to cross the beach to get to the high tide line, but should you get “caught” in the surf area, you can walk to AB where dogs are allowed on the beach.

    Again I don’t know how true it is, but that’s what I’ve heard.

  20. “Next time you see one of these poor idiots let them know that their pet is actually an animal and therefore not allowed on the beach or boardwalk.”

    Yes, I will confront the tattoo-covered meth-head and patiently explain the Boardwalk Pet Policy, while his Pitbulll is gnawing on my tibia.

  21. Wow, this post has it all! Idiotic political user name, assumptions about people with tattoos and unfounded prejudice against a breed of dog and their owners!

    Do you understand the definition of irony? Your username combined with your comment is fantastic.

  22. Re: 7-11. I heard it was one of the more successful 7-11s in the NY area. And here I thought you West Enders hated franchises….

    As far as why people throw trash on the ground, that I cannot understand for the life of me. Those damn Bud Light cans litter the East End as well. I am always picking those blue cans up.

  23. Pitbulls are dangerous.. so are people with tattoos. Liberals are even more dangerous.

    That said, you go out West and people are much more accepting of dogs everywhere. Much more pleasant place to be a dog owner

  24. We need to RECYCLE those bottles and cans — not just throw them in the trash. Why is it so hard for people to recycle even water bottles? They don’t have to be washed — just throw them in the recycle bin.

  25. I don’t know about the 7-11, but I live near Dunkin Donuts. A lot of the business there are folks driving by, jumping out of the car and running in, then driving off. I thought it was silly making it Kosher, but a lot of Orthodox Jews really do stop there. A few of my neighbors do walk down there for coffee, where before they’d go to Beach Bagel. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody walk home with a box of donuts. Maybe 7-11 also has a lot of quick stop, non-neighborhood business? Or maybe it’s a reflection of how local Delis have had to raise prices to do business here, and less delis than in the old days. I wonder if 7-11 sells a lot of cold beer, which used to keep the delis alive.

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