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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

The Trashing of America... Is Iron Eyes shedding tears again?

Is it just me?

Today I was walking out of Starbucks, a common off site office for me because of their free WiFi.  I had finished my drink and as I exited I started looking for the trash can.

And that is when it hit me.

There weren’t any!

I was reminded of a recent stop at an interstate McDonald’s.  On my way in to use the restroom and pick up another $1.00 soda, I wanted to throw away some trash.  Again, there was no trashcan to be found anywhere near the entrance or in the parking lot.

I’ve been looking around lately and asking my friends about this in a sort of unscientific research.  Here’s what I am seeing.

Some of America’s largest food retailers are slowly but surely eliminating outside trashcans. 

Years ago I managed in the fast food business.  As a young guy working for Carl’s Jr, I emptied many of those giant outside trashcans.  It was not fun nor was it easy.  But Carl, yes that Carl, I knew him and his kids, insisted that we empty them everyday to keep the parking lot clean and inviting for our guests.

All I can figure out is that today’s generation of food retailer big shots have loaded in some kind of algorithm and determined that they can save a buck a day in labor costs for every trashcan eliminated from outside their stores.

Pretty short-sighted if you ask me.

Many folks of my generation will remember Iron Eyes Cody in the old commercial saying we can stop pollution.  One of the biggest helps in that battle was easy access to places where we could dump our trash.

Are we moving away from that ideal in an effort to save a few dollars?

Sadly, I am afraid it looks like we are.  But hey, those companies will see a better bottom line and Americans will too in their stocks, mutual funds and retirement accounts.

Even if we are once again shedding tears at the sight of trash blowing across the American landscape.

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Comments on "The Trashing of America... Is Iron Eyes shedding tears again?"


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said ... (7:38 AM) : 

This is a losing battle in my neighborhood. There are never enough trash receptacles to handle the tons of refuse deposited on our streets in this neighborhood.

We have several pastry shops and pizza shops that allow take-out, and on the weekends when we have the heaviest foot traffic here, the streets are filthy with garbage thrown everywhere but in the few receptacles provided.

One of the problems, I think, for so few trash containers is that they have to be emptied on a regular basis, and perhaps there isn't enough money in the city of Boston's budget. I can never get a real answer from our state rep on this.

Some of our restaurants do keep the area in front of their businesses swept and clean, but we also have many, many apartments and condos, and our neighbors aren't as fastidious as our business owners.

More trash containers means less litter on the streets. I don't know why the city doesn't understand that.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:21 AM) : 

Shaw, I believe governments, and private businesses are cutting back on this expense.

Unfortunately, while there are trash can cutbacks, there is no cutback on trash.

One question I hear asked all the time in Mexico is why Mexicans don't value the streets and environment enough to throw their trash in a receptacle. When this was asked of a good friend of mine, he just responded with another question... "Do you see any trash cans? We have no where to put it!"

Now Mexico City has realized the folly of no cans in public places and has put them all over the most popular areas in the city and has a team of people working 24/7 to keep them emptied, hoping to change a culture.

It's a shame we seem to be going backwards.


Blogger dmarks said ... (6:00 PM) : 

I won't go to Carl Jr's, which looks like a cheap imitation of Hardee's and doesn't even spell its own signs correctly.

Some of the fast food places around where I am actually have drive-up trash cans alongside the drive up area by the window, either before or after. I've not noticed any trash cans vanishing. At least around here. Interesting post.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:50 AM) : 

DMarks... CKE, or Carl's Jr actually bought Hardee's awhile back to give them a national footprint...


Blogger dmarks said ... (4:48 PM) : 

Or a boot in the rear. I used to see Hardees around, but I realize reading this I have seen none in a long time.


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