Call for pictures: The junk by the side of the road

The fourth annual “Operation Cleanup” begins today, according to the office of Gov.Tim Pawlenty. A work crew from the correctional facility in Stillwater will be picking up the trash at the intersection of I-35 and Kellogg Blvd in St. Paul this morning, according to a news release from the governor’s office, suggesting that photographers for the news media come snap pictures of them.

Here’s a better idea. Take pictures of the trash. During “lean” times, the litter tends to pile up on the side of the highways. Let’s see what’s in your neck of the woods. Grab a camera this week, shoot a picture of the trash (all the cigarette butts at intersections is always a good shot. Then, send it to me.

According to the state’s Adopt A Highway Web site, volunteers pick up “litter” along 12,000 miles of Minnesota roadways, picking up 26,000 tons of trash. That number is either wrong, or we’re bigger pigs than many of us thought. That works out to two tons of trash per mile per year.

  • heavy trash

    I think that it is odd that the Govenor would take people who are incarcerated and put them in a public setting to pick up garbage. Is the Govenor going to daisy chain these guys together? Where does I 35 meet with Kellogg? It doesn’t.

  • concerned citizen

    //or we’re bigger pigs than many of us thought

    A couple weeks ago, a green and white taxi drove right by my house and as he was doing so he threw out a plastic salad bowel and accessories, from his local Drive-Thru- “Mcsupersize -Lifestyle- And -Now- I -Gotta- Eat -a -Salad”. when I saw this what came to mind was the old 70’s commercial where this station wagon is driving down the highway in a scenic place like the grand canyon and throws a whole bag of trash out the window. Along side the highway there is a Native American standing with tears in his eyes. remember that commercial?

    Yes I think that some of us are pigs.

    I was shocked to think that someone would have the audacity to intentionally and blatantly litter in that manner, let alone be littering at all.

  • Dave Sours

    Littering has gotten much worse since that time. Sure, the population has increased, and the fast food chains have proliferated, but we also aren’t seeing PSAs anymore like the famous one you mentioned. We have a couple of generations now who were never exposed to Woodsy Owl or the crying Indian. I haven’t seen any Don’t Litter PSA’s since then.

    In short, a lot of people were never taught not to litter.