Daily Archives: November 1, 2010

Cleaning Up Gladstone

Recently while pedalling around town, I passed a whistling council worker using a pair of those long tongy things to pick up bottles and paper from the roadside.  As I passed by, I pondered what it was about his job that made him so happy.  Had I been watching the road instead, I wouldn’t have ridden over the broken bottle. 

Limping home, I noted with dismay at how much litter there was on our city’s paths and roads.  Our highly awarded Tidy Town is being used as a dump by a group of people who selfishly drop their rubbish wherever they like.  These people are PIGS, i.e.: Pretty Inconsiderate Garbage Slingers. 

Realising, ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem’, I started picking up rubbish on my daily walks.  Sadly, the next day, more rubbish appeared.  And the next day, and the day after that.  Later that week, as I wrestled a fresh batch of litter into someone’s wheelie bin, it occurred to me that perhaps I was taking the wrong approach.  A point which was hammered home moments later when the owner of the wheelie bin set his dog on me. 

Afterwards I opened a beer to get my creative juices flowing, and tried to work out how to stop PIGS from dumping rubbish on our streets.  Much later, as I sat amid a pile of empty cans with a glazed expression on my dial, Long Suffering Wife muttered something about drinking at this time of the morning, and made pointed remarks about my inability to throw my empties into the bin. 

As I watched her totter off to the recycling bin with an armful of cans, I had an epiphany; not about the morning drinking thing, but my rubbish:  If you wait long enough, someone else will do your dirty work! 

The PIGS have already worked this out.  Even if we stopped picking up after the lazy sods, and were wading knee deep through their garbage, they wouldn’t care at all, because they know ‘Someone Else’ will eventually clean up the mess.  And sometimes that ‘Someone Else’ will be happy to do it, just like the whistling council worker. 

And I think that’s why he’s so cheerful; thanks to thoughtless PIGS, he’s got an outdoors job for life, proving that one groups’ trash is a council mans’ treasure. 


Filed under Gladstone Observer Columns