Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Clean Key West

I volunteered to take part in a city-wide "clean streets" day on Saturday. The City provided large plastic bags and volunteers chose the streets they wanted to work on. I picked Thomas Street, our official address, although our gate actually opens onto Truman Avenue.

So, at about 8:30 AM, after picking up a coffee at the Plantation, I set out along Petronia St. to Thomas and began picking up whatever trash I saw alongside the road and on the sidewalks. It didn't take long to get enough trash in the bag to make it too heavy to carry comfortably. When I reached Southard St. near the entrance to Truman Annex, I located a city trash bin and dumped everything I had collected into it, then set out in the opposite direction.

In the end, I filled my bag three times and emptied it twice before arriving back at our building. A Waste Management truck that was cruising the Village came up to the traffic light at Truman and Thomas. I waved him down and disposed of the bag now half-full again.

Clean Key West is an official Community Program, replete with a charter and a committee. In fact, the City does a reasonable job in keeping the streets clean. There are at least two large sweepers that go into action every morning, mainly on Duval St., but we do see (or hear) them go by on Truman and Thomas several times a month. The real problem is not so much in the streets as it is on several properties that have been neglected by their owners to the point that they are real eyesores. There doesn't seem to be any way for the City to force the cleaning of those properties unless they can be shown to constitute a health or safety hazard.

I don't like saying this, but the worst offenders are the residents of Bahama Village themselves, not tourists or other visitors here. The major part of what I picked up were either beer bottles or fast food containers and wrappers, dropped there by people who live here. The areas surrounding public housing always seem to be more littered than any other.

1 comment:

Scott said...

"I don't like saying this, but the worst offenders are the residents of Bahama Village themselves, not tourists or other visitors here. The major part of what I picked up were either beer bottles or fast food containers and wrappers, dropped there by people who live here. The areas surrounding public housing always seem to be more littered than any other."

--
Bob, I hate to agree as much as you hate to say it, but having lived in Filth-adelphia as long as I did, you are spot on. Of course this discussion is one of the bedrocks of the "ownership society"; however having seen it in action, I concluded long ago that this is convoluted. People live like this not as a product of the environment but because this environment is a product of their habits.

When I lived in Philly we, college students, kept an IMMACULATE property. Unfortunately it became a targeted dumping ground. We even went so far as to put a garbage can in our front yard. Funny thing, the bottles, crack vials, and CONDOMS never seemed to make it INTO the trash can, but instead littered all about it. Yeah, these kind of slobs know their crime...they just don't care.

 
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