Borderstan Candids: Watching Litterbugs from My Front Stoop

by Borderstan.com March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm 4 Comments

Corcoran Street NW, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

1500 block of Corcoran Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Candida Mannozzi. You can reach her at candida[AT]borderstan.com.

Featured photo by Candida Mannozzi: A hyacinth in bloom on Corcoran Street NW.

True story: I was returning home on an errand around lunchtime and a babysitter, a friendly looking lady in her 50s, was sitting at the bottom of the flight of steps that lead to my building’s front door. She was spoon-feeding her ward some yogurt. As she realized she was blocking me from getting into my building, she apologized profusely and made way. I smiled, thanked her and went inside.

About five minutes later, I was on my way out again and the babysitter and stroller were gone. In their place, on my front stoop, was the empty yogurt container. SERIOUSLY?! She was SO sorry to be sitting on my stoop, but leaving her trash there was not a problem? Wow. Well, I’m glad to know some people have their priorities all synced-up. I look forward to a memorable “come to Jesus” moment the day I run into her again.

I feel for all the owners of front stoops and gardens, who regularly have to pick up the garbage that rude passers-by feel perfectly entitled to toss over a railing or bush onto their property, instead of finding the closest public garbage can. Not to mention those urban hybrids, native to our neighborhood: the empty beer and liquor containers that regularly blossom in our gardens and sidewalks after every weekend night.

Where I grew up, we used to tell people caught littering not to publicize the fact that they’d been raised in a pigsty. Borderstan, it’s time to take back our front stoops, gardens and sidewalks! I plan to shame any litterbug I catch in the act. Thoughts?

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  • Wesley

    We get all kinds of surprises in our front garden and in the tree lawns in front of the house. McDonald’s trash is common as we’re just down the street. My litter pet peeve is cigarette butts. I always want to ask those who toss the butts anywhere and everywhere who they think is gonna pick that up? I guess they think the world is their garbage can.

  • M

    Yup. Cigarette butts. Beer cans. Malt liquor bottles. Assorted fast food containers. Once a condom (EWWWWWWW!). While I agree with the author’s sentiments, I have seen the people who do it. Uhhhh, you wouldn’t want to say anything to those guys lest ye find yourself in the ER with a gunshot wound. I don’t think they were raised in a pigsty. I just think they are what they throw on the ground and they really don’t know any better.

  • Tim

    Yup, the smokers who think it’s totally OK to deposit their butts on the sidewalk (there are always hundreds in front of my building). Plus the car diners who get dinner at Popeye’s, pull over to eat, and throw the bones out the window one by one and, finally, the styrofoam container, the spork, and the beverage. All at the curb right where we live. What are they thinking? They aren’t.

  • just some chick

    I totally agree with this, but isn’t is just a fact of urban life? In my building, we have a general agreement to leave the trash where it is — in the hopes that would-be burglars will think we don’t have any money.


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