Picking up litter in the Scottish Borders

‘Hell, sheep in the Scottish borders sure do consume a lot of beer and energy drinks’

For quite some time, I have noticed an increase in litter whilst walking my dog. But last week when a large plastic sheep feed bag appeared up a tree I declared enough was an enough. I have no doubt the bag arrived in the tree because of the elements or negligence, rather than malicious intent, but however it got there I knew I was going to be stuck looking at it until the council removed it or I died of old age. So, this Sunday I decided to do something about it.  Armed with my extending camera stand, I waded across the river and after a few attempts freed the bag from the tree. I did it not for praise but simply because I could not stand to look at the bloody thing it anymore. Below is a quick animation of the events taken by my wife, I think she was hoping I’d fall in :).

aricvosslitter

Once I had got the bag out of the tree, I thought I may as well put it to use and see how much rubbish I could collect on our walk. After a few miles, it was full up and both my wife and I were amazed by how much litter there really was. Now as I have said before I don’t live on a particularly busy road, but we do get a lot of cyclists in our area and 80% of the litter was energy drinks. Therefore, I’m going to make possibly an unfairly assumption and put the blame on them first and foremost: –

‘Dear cyclists in the Scottish borders, this is not the bloody Tour de France there is no support team coming to pick up your rubbish!!! So, take it home.’

After energy drinks, it was coffee cups and beer cans, both probably tossed from the car window because they can’t bare the sight of litter in their car but it’s perfectly fine on the side of the road. Again, this is not Trafalgar Square people there are no sweepers coming to clear up your junk.  In fact, in 6 months, I have not seen anyone come along from the council so it’s just me and anyone else who cares. Exactly why you can’t put a bin in your car and take it home is beyond me. As for those bloody beer and cider cans, well who ever said drinking and driving wasn’t still a thing. I guess if you care so little about your own life and the lives of other drivers, you’re not going to give a toss about littering the country side.

Below is the sheep feed bag at the end of the walk.  Now I must use my own wheelie bin for other people’s rubbish, but that’s fine the council will me giving me a discount on my council tax …. lol will they hell!

aricvossjunk

For me there are few things that piss me off on a local level as much as litter. The amount of litter I see in an area is simply a marker to how much people care about where they live and the people they live with. Now I must confess that compared to some places I’ve lived the Scottish borders has a relatively low litter problem. However, let’s be honest if what I collected above was just from a short walk it’s far from perfect. So why do people litter, I thought about this a lot over the years and I can only conclude it’s linked to low self-esteem, laziness, poor social discipline and I guess to some stupid buggers deemed it cool.

Fines don’t work as police are too far and few between and would probably rather avoid the paperwork.  I’m personally for public flogging, but once again you’ve got to catch the buggers. So, I guess it comes back to good parenting and schooling, but we can’t just blame it on the ‘younger generation’ because it’s not just them. Many people simply just don’t care about anything other than their own small world and most of them don’t even care about that. Maybe I’m a fool to get so angry about litter, maybe humanity is just too broken to understand why wading through other people’s crap isn’t normal or a good thing .

Update : We have seen a council  litter picker on our road a few times since this blog which is nice.

Update 2: It now June 2017 Litter is beginning to build up so I guess I may have to do another litter pick up