Archive for the ‘Road Trash’ Category

174 butts and iPhone on CB
174 butts and iPhone on CB

Apple hasn’t officially set up shop at Carolina Beach, but you wouldn’t know it by what I found this morning.

I stumbled across an iPod in a parking lot. The top glass was crushed, but the touchscreen was fine. While I wasn’t able to figure out whose it was, I did come across the obligatory self-snapped photo of a young male flexing his muscles in the bathroom mirror.

I turned this gem in to a proxy cop, the information booth at the town hall since the cop shop was closed. I wish the young man luck in his strength training.

While I was enroute to my beach cleanup, I spotted the most wonderful thing; an army of young trash retrievers. They had filled an entire pickup truck with street and beach trash. It made my day. They were all aflitter with bags and gloves and picking up sticks.

Next stop, knowing that these kind people likely skipped over cigarette butts, as many do, I headed for the sand. Indeed, there was barely a cup or paper to be found, but I did scrape up 174 cigarette butts rather quickly. I had a lovely conversation with a young family about the importance of keeping the beach clean. I watched a small child launch a kite so perfectly that he’ll probably go pro… and then I saw it. I spotted yet another Apple that had fallen from the tree!

I carefully dug my hand into the sand to retrieve the shiny black iPhone that looked a heck of a lot like mine, mostly because they’re all black and they’re all shiny. I pushed the home button and found it had a lock code and a screen photo of a cute little dog. Well, the lock was not to be broken so I pondered.

After pondering for a good long while, I held down the home button for several seconds. It took me to Voice Control, sounds powerful. Not having the best common sense at times, it took me a while to figure out that it wanted me to speak to it, and so I did. I spoke as if it would answer me.

Feeling like I had just solved some great secret of the world, I cleared my throat and said, “CONTACTS”.  Instead of arriving at the contact list, the phone started calling “Aunt Kaye”. Petrified, I hung up, thinking “what do I say?” , “tell your niece to meet me at the boardwalk or she’ll never see her phone again”? Still, she remained my backup plan.

Next, I tried to reach the address book. I said “ADDRESSES”, which led me directly to a very loud song by Michael Jackson. I yelled, “STOP”, but he kept singing. Finally, I turned the phone off and then on. I repeated this request, with the same result.  Within a minute of rebooting the second time, the owner of the phone called. She said she thought she’d never see it again. I thought I’d never get rid of it.


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232 Butts, Carolina Beach, 2-19-2011

232 butts beachside, 182 roadside

It’s not all rainbows and lollipops, you know.

This weekend’s pickup was split between the road and the beach for a total of 414 cigarette butts, a hypodermic needle, cups and bottles, and various beach toys.

While leaning over the boardwalk in an effort to snag one last butt, I heard the voice of a small child. The conversation went as follows:

Small child (to mother): What is she doing?
Mother: I don’t know.
Me: I’m picking up dolphin killers.
Small child: Dolphin killers?
Me: Yep. I’m picking up cigarette butts. They kill dolphins and other wildlife.
Small child: ewwwww.
Mother (to small child): Hear that? Stay away from cigarettes. They’re bad.
Small child: Yeah.

Later in the evening, I went back to the beach and saw several dolphins playing close to shore. I swear I heard them laughing.

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DVD of Desperate Housewives, 144 pack of lubricating jelly, Hardee's cup

Valentine's Day Preview? Litter Sucks.

One street, a trio huddled in the grass.

Words would only interfere.

You decide.

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car parts, hypodermic needle, cigarette butts, bucket, and other trash
Carolina Beach Road wounds

Because litter doesn’t take a day off, neither do I. Today’s target area was the 7000 block median on Carolina Beach Road. This stretch toward Snow’s Cut seems to be a favorite dumping ground for thoughtless people.

There is a very long piece of red pvc pipe, which I had to leave on the side. If any of you locals can find a use for it, please head out that way. It resides on the right side as you drive toward CB.

In addition to the normal trash (especially cigarette butts), this afternoon’s haul included half a car, a bucket with some kind of sludge in it, a variety of springs and a hypodermic needle (junk from junkies).

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who pick up after yourselves and especially those who pick up after others.

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A Happy Median

This morning I was pleased to see a huge decrease in beach litter at my favorite Carolina Beach spot, so I moved to the highway median north of Snow’s Cut.

bounty from pick up on Carolina Beach Road median

bounty from Carolina Beach Road median

I cleaned this particular place about 3 weeks ago and one would think it would be a breeze, especially after tourist season. However, there was plenty of new debris to pick up. This lovely photo pretty well sums it up.

Here is a summary of some highlights:

  • Most common plastic bag: Walmart
  • Most common can: Budweiser
  • Most common cigarette butt (out of ten million): Marlboro
  • Strangest item: catheter tubing

The good news is that today several people honked and gave me a thumbs up and no one flipped me off.  This is progress.


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barbie on the roadside with cigarette buttsThese Barbies and butts inspired the Litter Sucks site. Shortly after moving to the Wilmington NC area, I noticed that there is a lot of litter. Things seem to be intentionally tossed on the road, into ditches, and on the beach .

People tell me that these Barbies likely met the pavement because children were fighting over them, resulting in their being launched from the vehicle. Was there no consideration for the impact on the environment?

What’s most annoying is that there’s no reason for litter. It can be eliminated by people stashing their trash where it belongs.

After spending many hours picking up garbage, it became evident that more needs to be done. 

redhead Barbie in the road

So, a Website is born.

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