north avenue

Tweeting About Trash

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Last week as I was waiting for the bus, I could not help but notice this overflowing trash can on North Avenue. It just made me so sad. Even in between taking pictures, a man tried to stuff some more into it.

From what I could see (I did not dig in and inspect), it looked like the majority of the trash can’s contents were recyclables such as plastic beverage containers. This makes sense because this trash can is right across from an L stop, so I assume many commuters drop off their pre and post work coffees here.

I tweeted at Chicago Streets and Sanitation about it, but so far no response…..

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No Butts About It: 350 Cigarette Butts Later

Yesterday, I participated in another beach clean up at North Avenue Beach. This event was put on by Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach Program and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly to help make our beaches barefoot friendly.

And were they barefoot friendly? No. 

The amount of broken glass we picked up was startling. Even more startling was the excessive amount of cigarette butts I picked up.

Over 350 cigarette butts picked up by a 2 person team in just over an hour!

While my partner tallied and picked up other types of litter, I focused solely on collecting cigarette butts. I just continued counting and counting as I added more butts to the growing pile in my hand (I was wearing gloves, do not fear).

When we counted up our tally marks to reveal that we had over 300 cigarette butts in our trash bag, I was in shock! There were dozens of other teams too who may have picked up just as many.

In 2015, more than 52,600 cigarette butts were picked up at Chicago beaches, representing 27 percent of total litter found according to Alliance for Great Lakes data.

I just get really sad when I see people using our beaches (and our Earth) as an ashtray.

Luckily, the Alliance is putting a fun spin on properly disposing of cigarette butts.

Read more about their project here.

Chicago’s Beaches Were “Trashed” This Weekend

I bet fellow Chicagoans were enjoying the lovely weather we had here this Memorial Day weekend. When it is nice out and a long weekend, the beaches are packed with people and with garbage!

Here are some images from North Avenue Beach posted by Mike Caplan, Meteorologist at FOX 32. Gross!

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I am just going to let those pictures sink in. A lot of that looks recyclable to me…