What’s In Your Sewer

Photo by @dcwater

DC Water tweets the wild/sad photo above before last night’s storms:

“#BloomingdaleDC’s catch basins are mostly filled w/plastic bottles so 1 more reason to #drinktap & minimize waste”

27 Comment

  • Or maybe just dispose of/recycle the bottle properly. Of course that’s proven to be too much to ask of some.

  • This is one reason I believe the District of Columbia should adopt a container deposit law that would require a minimum refundable deposit (five to 10 cents usually) on beer, soft drink, water and other beverage containers in order to ensure a high rate of recycling or reuse. According to BottleBill.org, one benefit is a dramatic decrease in litter. More benefits can be found here: http://www.bottlebill.org/about/benefits.htm

    • saf

      It’s been tried – do you remember the incredibly offensive ads against it? But they were effective, and the bottle bill lost.

      It would be nice if someone was willing to try again.

      • I agree this seems like a great deterrent to littering and adds an incentive for people to pick up trash.

    • west_egg

      Bottle deposits are the worst. There’s nothing like standing in line for an hour waiting to load your bottles & cans one-by-one into a sllooooowwww machine just to get your deposit back.

      • justinbc

        You don’t do it yourself, you follow California’s example and let the dumpster divers dig through your garbage and every other can around on a daily basis.

        • west_egg

          Well that’s fine but now I’m paying an extra 60 cents for every six pack just because my neighbors can’t be trusted to deal with their garbage like civilized people! Grinds my gears, it does.

      • You clearly have never lived in 10 cent Michigan. Bottle and can deposits are a cultural tradition of great pride and return on investment.

        • Plus, it makes for fun competition between you and your friends while walking/riding bikes! But kids probably don’t do that anymore anyways. Ugh. Kids.

    • Agreed — we really need a deposit program for plastic bottles, glass bottles, and aluminum cans.

  • Littering is so bad-ass.
    We need to come up with a way of tricking litterers into thinking that putting trash in trash/recycling bins is wrong and irresponsible, while throwing trash in the street is the right thing to do.

  • Not to mention that clogged catch basins are an incredible breeding ground for Mosquitos.

    • It only takes one capful of water, even hidden inside a catch basin, for tiger mosquitoes to breed.

      Also, a revived bottle bill may be forthcoming. 11 states currently have them, and yet the sky has not fallen…

    • And a major cause of sewer backups and flooding.

  • It took me exactly one Anacostia Cleanup volunteer day to come to the conclusion that we need a bottle fee. And also that styrofoam really, really sucks.

  • I certainly don’t condone the littering but the storm drains in this area are so bad because there is no street sweeping program on Rhode Island Ave. Have asked DPW/DDOT repeatedly to add one to no avail. Wouldn’t even take away from parking as there is already daily no parking during rush hour so the sweepers could go by then.

    • No offense, but I highly doubt this is due to the lack of a street sweeping program. If there werent bottles there in the first place, they wouldnt have to sweep the streets…. Lets be honest – this probably isnt such a significant issue in the more gentrified areas of the city. The only way to combat littering is to pass a Bottle Bill (ala New York City) that would incentivize recycling. Otherwise, people in these areas of the city see no legitimate reason to actually recycle. Its unacceptable that the Council still has not passed such legislation. We need to make our voices heard on this issue, as a Bottle Bill would solve this problem instantly!

      • Curious about the bottle bill thing. I know that in Michigan and, I think, Massachusetts, you can only return empties to a store that carries the product. In other words, you couldn’t just go dumpster diving for all recyclables and take them to one place. I remember as a kid in California taking empty cans to return, putting them in the machine out front of the grocery store, and it would spit out a nickel for every empty can. Then we got to go home and roll all the nickels. It was a lot of fun for an 8 year old.

        • That’s technically true about Massachusetts, but some cities do have stores that take anything and act as redemption centers. I’m sure there are environmental benefits, but in our old neighborhood it also meant that we had people tearing through our trash looking for bottles and cans every week, leaving us to pick up after them.

  • Tap water + Brita pitcher + BPA-fee, reusable, washable water bottle.
    Easy, affordable.
    Too bad so many people have been brainwashed into this whole bottled water thing.
    So much of it is just bottled tap water anyway.

  • I’ll never understand why being low income is an excuse to litter. I see it over and over again; literally just tossing trash wherever thinking either someone else will deal with it or they just don’t care or, most likely, have never thought about it.

    I’ve even been pick trash up in a park when someone littered right nearby. No tolerance left.

    • At my GWU graduation ceremony many years ago on the Mall, I was appalled at all the rich, white people who simply discarded their trash on the ground as they left their seats.

      • Ah, yes, I recall walking behind a family on the mall once; the little boy needed to throw his can away and asked the dad where to throw it. Dad says, “anywhere, our tax payer dollars pay for this city, let them pick it up.” I was absolutely incensed. Not only was it the mall, where there is literally a trash can every 25 feet, the flippant attitude was just disgusting. Another reason why I effing hate tourists!

    • Remember that episode of Mad Men where the Drapers have a picnic and just leave their trash spread across the grass? It was so funny to see, but I’m glad times have changed.

  • Culture and diversity.

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