Trash in the wilderness

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by Clydascope » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:36 pm

mrh wrote:
Clydascope wrote: When does trash become treasure?

I believe its about 50 years, depending on what it is. At least thats what the archeologist in the next cubicle has told me. If you picked up something 100 years old, the feds will have to come and arrest you.

My general policy is to pick it up, have a look and put it back.

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by lcarreau » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:23 am

I pick it up at some of the fishing holes I go to.

In Arizona, wilderness is handled by the Feds. I have all the numbers of the Feds, and when
I find trash, I just obtain the GPS and hand it over to them.

The Feds have people with big trucks and flatbed trailers picking up trash.

If the trash is too big & smelly to pick up, I just tell them "my people will contact your people."

Very seldom do I actually see people dumping trash onto the Forest. If and when I do, I'll
probably kick their ass and send them a message not to do it again.

I've noticed if the situation gets NEWS coverage in the local paper, more folks become
aware of the problem and tend to become more responsible, if only for a few months.


"People flicking cigarette butts are usually your typical BUTTS."

(And ... I've picked up more Keystone Light cans than I'm willing to admit!)

Last edited by lcarreau on Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by lcarreau » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:42 am


"I've actually seen people dumping their trash in the woods. If it's something that can be
salvaged and re-used for the future, I normally drag it into my cave."

"If it's something that smells bad, I just knock them up alongside their "noggans,"
and tell them they'd be better off not to leave a mess in my living room."


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Buz Groshong

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by Buz Groshong » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:30 am

I usually pick up what I run across, unless it's biodegradable. I think if it's over 50 years old it's considered "antiquities" so I don't pick it up.

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by norco17 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:57 am

I usually pick it up unless it is something I don't want in my pack like toilet paper. If the area is so bad that I feel that I won't make a dent then I leave it. If I am near the car I will normally pick up one bags worth then leave.

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Mark Doiron

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by Mark Doiron » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:31 am

In the wilderness, I usually pick it up. I agree with the comments on cigarette butts: I take care of 5-1/2 acres of property, about half of which is grass and the other half is "wild", that my church sits on. It's on a busy street, and it gets lots of trash--mostly tobacco and alcohol related. It takes me about an hour and a half to pick it up every couple weeks. I had it all cleaned up Wednesday, and yesterday (Thursday) I was walking along the road looking for a missing part that fell off the lawnmower and ended up picking up a beer can, liquor pint, and about another dozen fresh cigarette butts.

BTW: I walk a few miles each day in my neighborhood and always pick up anything that might damage a tire. And I pick up most trash when everyone's trash can is out by the curb (gives me a place to put it). And I pick up all trash within a couple hundred feet of my home. I hate living and playing in a dump, and don't understand people who go someplace nice because it is nice--then trash it out. Go figure.

--mark d.

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by The Chief » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:10 pm

WAGBAGS... the king of the trash.

How many of them have you taken out???

It is getting to be an old affair with me. People can really be selfish and totally disrespectful by leaving em for someone else to carry out for them....

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by surgent » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:25 pm

I've done trash detail, mostly it's a space issue - if I have the space to take it out, I'll take it out. Big things dumped along sides of roads, obviously that's another issue.

My wife and I were camping in the Crown King area of the Bradshaw Mtns between Phoenix and Prescott. A couple were camped in the area about 300 feet west of us. They left, I went for a stroll and found their site to be a complete disaster! Trash everywhere - they left anything and everything behind. It pissed me off, and I did actually clean the place up (two large trash bags full).

Some people are utter slobs, no two ways about it.

It is interesting to note that once off the main roads, trash tends to drop to 0. The trashy yahoos just don't bother with the rougher roads I guess.

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by Alpinisto » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:43 pm

thoth wrote:Friend of mine picked up a butt a person flicked out of a car and flicked it right back in their window, funny, really, really funny, of course he is 6' 3" or something.

I have done this on several occasions.

First time I was in high-school walking across the street with some friends in the tourist town I grew up in. Some out-of-state POS was sitting in his convertible at the stoplight and dropped a still-smoldering butt over the side of the door. I calmly reached down, picked up the butt and tossed it back in his lap (he was checking out his beautiful self in the mirror and didn't notice me approach), saying, "Here...I think you dropped this."

Good times...

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by WoundedKnee » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:15 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:Why is it smokers think the world is their ashtray?

Just like anything else, I think most smokers are conscientious, but an a-hole minority gives the whole lot a bad name.

The following user would like to thank WoundedKnee for this post

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by MoapaPk » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:23 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:Why is it smokers think the world is their ashtray?

Recent travel through SoCal?

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by Kerstin » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:41 am

This is the only time in my adult life that I haven't picked up garbage all the time--I have a herniated lower lumbar disk and can't bend over or squat down.

I wander through the woods all the time here and find lots of interesting things--old 7-up cans and bottles that say "You like it, it likes you" on them, little beer cans that you had to punch open...There are a few collapsed cabins in out of the way places that are fascinating to look at. Really old abandoned vehicles can also be interesting. Sometimes I wonder how on earth they got where they did!

I go to the beach a lot and often spend the majority of my time picking up fishing line, bottle caps, the endless cigarette butts, hair-ties and bits of plastic. I've found some old pottery shards after storms--probably from Lucky Baldwin's casino. Since fishing line kills and maims other animals, I pick it up with my toes when I find it these days.

I've watched people flick cigarette butts out of their windows while at work (I'm a boat inspector...or I was). I pick up the butt, yell "You forgot this!" and look them in the eyes while putting the butt in a trash can. What really bothers me is seeing someone flick a lit butt out their window while driving, especially this time of year!

Unfortunately I often find huge piles of fresh garbage in the forest--sometimes whole dumpsters worth. People just can't be bothered to go to the dump and pay five dollars. A family bought the huge trophy home behind ours. They had the money to buy the house, but can't be bothered to purchase a bear-proof trash can--not even one with the screw-on lid. They use the house as a vacation rental, so every weekend there's a new group of people there. None of them so far seem to be aware that if you leave garbage out the bears will get into it. So every week there's a fresh collection of garbage blowing all over the place. What I'd love to do is take this garbage and dump all of it right in front of their front door, bear poop and all. If I see this happen again I'm making a call to the Bear League. It's so frustrating.

So, when I'm out hiking or backpacking I will generally try to pick up everything I see unless it has feces or blood on it or is something that could damage my pack. But sometimes in really trash-covered places I just have to ignore a lot of it or I won't make any forward progress.

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by lisae » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:12 am

Generally, I pick stuff up. I usually have a couple of small plastics bags with me and stash things in there.

I felt guilty on Labor Day. Dh and I hiked at Andrew Molera State Park. There was a large plastic bottle on the beach. I didn't pick it up because I didn't have room in my pack and didn't want it banging me if I figured out a way to tie it on my pack. Also, there was a nice pair of sandals. I moved those where they would be obvious - I thought someone might come back for those.

What I want to know is it with the desert and trash? I notice so much more trash in the desert than anywhere else.


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