Picking Up Trash as a Healthy Activity

Why pick up trash. Picking up trash along the trail is a moderately healthy activity which is perhaps more rewarding as a moment’s pleasure of doing good for your city. You just improved the scenery from that vantage point. There’s something of a double purpose in keeping the trails clean. The obvious one, about improving the view, and the other, eliminating the “monkey see, monkey do” effect. It is well known that the sight of trash on the ground removes guilt for people with a bit of trash in their hands thinking about dropping it.
How to begin. The most common kind of trash is a bag and when you see one, that’s your cue to start using it to collect more trash. You can of course bring your own bag.
What to do with that bag. On each webpage of the FullertonWalks website, there’s a description, or even a map of city trashcans along the trail. If you think there’s not enough trashcans, keep in mind that Landscaping is stretched to the limit on labor and adding another can to be emptied must come with a real good justification and making that request can mean jumping through lots of bureaucratic hoops. Instead plan your walk so you can drop your load at the trashcan listed on the map or described in the text. If you find yourself with a bit of trash and didn’t plan on finding a trash can, don’t feel you have to put it into your car. Just leave it for some other volunteer by placing it at a convenient height to indicate that it wasn’t just thrown down.
Tricks of the Trade. Here’s a trick that city websites will never tell you. Leave it on the street next to the curb for the street sweeper. They are much more regular than the emptying of trash cans. (Having interviewed the manager of sweeping, he said there’s no reason to take the trash out of the bag. All he asks, is no glass. Please.) Many of the trails are along streets and if you see a bit of trash use your foot to push it into the gutter. If you are a regular on a particular trail, you can be a real pal to the neighbors if you use this –> map to identify which day it will be picked up. (It is the day before that counts because the sweeper comes real early in the morning; probably before you are on the trial. If it’s not the day before, don’t make it look worse for the neighbors.)How You Can Influence Where to Place a Trashcan. It was mentioned above that there is a lot of politics involved with having a trashcan placed where you want. But there’s actually a more natural way. Maybe you have seen in several places along the trails where volunteers have placed large bags for people to dump their trash. (See picture above.) These were placed where the trash tends to be created (near a view site for example). They are not necessarily for those of us who pick up trash. But you can dump your load there if you want. These informal trashcans are emptied by city employees more often than by those who planted the bag. Because of their familiarity with how often they need to be emptied, supervisors of the crew will decide to place a trashcan there or not. Usually, a trashcan is not needed there and the hanging bag is good enough, or it too can be removed if it never needs emptying. A trashcan is actually pretty expensive because it has to be mapped and a pole next to it has to be cemented in place. Consideration must be given to how it looks within the setting. (Speaking of looks, brown plastic trash bags that are biodegradable are available at Office Depot <– click there.)
The MyFullerton App is a cellphone app which allows you to notify Public Works of a problem or even trash you can’t handle. (Broken glass for example.) Homeless nests are much safer than their reputation, but you might still want to leave that to the pros. The most common use of MyFullerton is the almost instant response to a graffiti alert. The city has given many of their work crews a kit of different spray cans. The closest truck to the geo-location you gave can be there in minutes. You can go back the next day and most likely it will be gone.  (Other fixes, pot holes, water leak, homeless nests, etc; could be several days or even weeks. Be patient.) Here it is described on a website–> MyFullerton App To get it in your phone, use Google from your phone to locate “myfullerton app”.
___Unfortunately, it is awkward for them to acknowledge your submission, so you will be sending these suggestions blind. And you are making more work for them, so don’t expect them to thank you. Consider what you are doing as working “with” landscaping for a more scenic Fullerton. And remember the budget (and number of employees) landscaping is given, has dropped every year since 2009, so in the MyFullerton text-window you may wish to express your gratitude or better yet, acknowledgement, of something you noticed they did that you liked.
Dog Poop Bags is one of the most common kinds of trash you will see. Why would so many people go to the trouble of picking up the dog poop and then dropping the bag? Don’t be angry with them; they didn’t drop it where the dog pooped. And they had a very good reason. Well “a” reason anyway. It’s because they don’t know where the next trashcan is and they got tired of carrying it. This frustration erases what guilt they might have to just dropping it. The clearest evidence that they tried to be good (aside from the fact that they bagged the poop) is that invariably they will place it where it is easy for someone else to pick up; on a fence for example, or hanging on a branch.