Wanna Help?

Dec. 5, 2006

If you share my concern for our neighborhood, click on this link to print out flyers to put up around campus. It can increase awareness that our bad habits are a problem. You must have a U of M password to access this site.

Note: try not to let these flyers turn into litter.

Comic Relief

Picture courtesy of Lisa Vitale, LS&A Senior

The Crack Down

Dec. 1, 2006

I was looking online today for legislation on littering in Ann Arbor. This 2005 article in the daily sums it up nicely: http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2005/09/27/News/Aapd-Cracks.Down.On.Trash-1431600.shtml?norewrite200611201102&sourcedomain=www.michigandaily.com Apparently, students can be fined up to $1,000 for leaving trash out on their lawns. Just remember that the next time you are tempted to leave that empty box of bud light in front of your house.

The Snitch Board

Nov. 28, 2006

Ok, here's what you do. If you know of a neighbor or friend with horrible mess on their front lawn rat them out in the comments section of this page. A little bit of peer pressure should get their act together.

What Can We Do??

Nov. 17, 2006

People have been asking me what they can do about the litter problem (see comments to last post). Well, I think we could all learn a lesson from our old friends, Bert and Ernie. If that isn't educational, I don't know what is.

I understand we live busy lives and that proper disposal of an empty cereal box is not the easiest when the trash can is already overfilled and we are running late from class, possibly hung over. Here are a few simple ways to keep our neighborhood clean:

  1. Reuse plastic party cups. Collect the cups at the end of party and wash them. Not only will there be less litter outside your house, but you will reduce waste too!
  2. Pull your trashcan off the curb and onto your driveway or behind your house after the garbage is taken. Trashcans get tipped over (and their contents spill out) when students leave their cans by the side of the street all week long for anyone to kick over.
  3. If you cannot fit all of your week’s trash into the cans provided by the City, you can rent extra cans for only $60 per calendar year. Call the City of Ann Arbor at (734) 996 – 3150 to request an extra bin.
    Visit http://www.ci.ann-arbor.mi.us/PublicServices/FieldOperations/SolidWaste/recycle.html for info on what can and cannot be put into recycling bins.

Let's Not Kid Ourselves

Nov. 15, 2006

At the University of Michigan we pride ourselves in being environmentally conscious. We take brisk walks in the Arb, chat with squirrels, and take lecture notes on recycled paper. We have student groups like Environmental Action and Environmental Justice that stake out in the diag and hold up green posters with pictures of the rain forest. But let’s not kid ourselves here. The litter that we contribute has a huge impact on the environment. According to the EPA, litter…

  • “ reduces the aesthetic appeal of public places including streets, parks and waterwayscan kill aquatic life directly (eg. through choking) and indirectly through its impacts on water quality

  • can cause blockages of the drainage system and flooding (costing councils millions of dollars to repair)

  • can be dangerous to people particularly when it involves items such as broken glass, needles and syringes

  • may be a fire hazard (lit cigarettes being thrown from vehicles)

  • costs the community huge sums of money to clean up every year

  • can decrease oxygen levels when it decays in water.”

Litter can also

  • attract vermin such as squirrels, skunks, and raccoons.

  • attract more litter (people think it’s okay to litter where litter is already present).

If we could be causing all this damage to the environment, maybe we should reevaluate our tree-hugging abilities.

My Canon Powershot A430 Doesn't Lie

Nov. 17, 2006

Eric, I appreciate your loyalty to the littering population (see comment on last post), but my earlier post is no exaggeration. On my way to Starbucks this morning I still had my digital camera with me in my “going out purse” from last night so I took some shots.

You might wonder, is this the renowned city of Ann Arbor, or a garbage dump?

Note to freshmen, send these pictures to your grandmother to show her where you live and she’ll start to cry and probably send you money.

But seriously, these pictures of garbage that “just missed” the trash can, trash cans tipped over, and the ruins of Saturday night’s party still there on a Wednesday do not capture an image of U of M that we would be proud of. Would we cheer if a U of M recruiting commercial during the Buckeye game flashed pictures of off campus housing? Hell no. It would make us look like trash. What’s more, it’s embarrassing when our visitors from other schools have to skip, hop, and jump through an obstacle course of trash to get from their car to our front door. Our school has a great reputation, we shouldn't trash that image with our litter.