Oh, my. The things you learn about your community when you spend four hours picking up trash. Over fifty volunteers turned out for the Caddo “Trash Off” today. It was cold and windy and many of the color-coordinated team t-shirts were covered up with sweatshirts and jackets. But the spirits were warm and most of the volunteers got started promptly at 8am. (There were some who worked the day before because of time conflicts.) Individuals, civic organizations, sports teams, and church groups worked together to clean up Caddo and collected nearly 400 trash bags filled with roadside litter. In addition, many larger items such as tires, chairs, refrigerators, and limbs were collected for disposal.
Our team, The Craighead’s Five and Dime Team, worked Buffalo Street and part of the highway onramp. We had a brief but exciting contest to determine who had collected the strangest trash. I’m not sure there was a definite winner, but here are some of the entries: empty birth control pill container, dead fish, syringe w/needle, toilet. Also found a quarter, so at least we got paid! And the snake I found lurking under a board would have been a winner, but we all know I’m terrified of snakes so I let him AND the board stay where they were.
We determined that there were at least 10,999 cigarette butts on the ground, or maybe it just felt like that many after we’d bent over for the umpteenth time! I’m not sure why people have gotten the impression that cigarettes are biodegradable and can be thrown out all over the countryside, but let me just tell you that those filters last a LONG time! If they are biodegradable it’s going to be sometime in the next century!!!
We had a lot of good discussions once we met back at the downtown pavilion for free hot dogs and drinks. There was lots of talk about the “next project” and the “next trash off” and the “next meeting”, so I’m confident that we are beginning a good work that will continue to benefit the community. The official write-up of the event, complete with photos, will be on my Caddo blog tomorrow.