A few weeks ago I was driving down Constellation Road as I was returning from a trip to locate on old mining settlement east of Wickenburg. As usual, I would stop along the road to pick up litter and toss it in the back of my truck. In the distance I could see a large container on the roadside, so I slowed down to make another pick up. When I reached this shiny object, the label identified itself as “Moose Drool.”
Mind you – I haven’t led an overly-protected life; but my first reaction was that someone had finally come up with a market for animal saliva and I couldn’t imagine what the application could possibly be. Does the FDA know about this, I thought to myself? Curiosity got the best of me so — with container in hand — I walked back to the truck to get my glasses so that I could read the fine print. Contrary to my original suspicion, this was “just” another beer.
On the return drive to Wickenburg I began to think about the quantity of litter that I and several others have collected over the years. What, I thought; if we could document and classify the litter that is deposited on Constellation and Buckhorn Roads — not to mention the many side trails and washes that we use to reach our hiking and photography areas? This idea percolated in my head for a few weeks and has resulted in this article.
The individuals who clean up litter along these roads do not do it for personal recognition – they do it because they care more about the beauty of our landscape than the people who litter it. You may be surprised, but a number of these caring folks don’t even live in Wickenburg. They are individuals who visit during the fall-winter-spring season, or are year-round residents of the metro-Phoenix area.
In any case, picking up litter is not the same as “prevention”. It is a response to blight, but it is not a cure. The sobering thought is that we are in the “low” season of litter. You could call it the “background litter level” if you wish. It is the point below which the quantity of litter never drops. As we approach the cooler season the volume of litter in this area increases dramatically. Yes, some of this is the result of winter visitors. And, yes — some of it results from weekend thrill-seekers who drive up from metro-Phoenix.
So, without further fanfare, here is the “Moose Drool and other Desert Droppings” report. The pick up area in this report is from the point between the Rodeo Grounds and extends through the Constellation and Buckhorn Roads areas.
You will notice that the Moose Drool report is limited to bottles, cans, plastics and cups; and deals only with containers for liquids. If we can develop a way to classify other solid materials (without having to get some type of booster shot) we will do so. If we had started collecting statistics several weeks ago, the Moose Drool container would have appeared in the report. Sadly, I am confident that future reports will document this product.
By the way, there are no medical labs on Constellation Road. The best place to leave a urine sample is in the doctor’s office. I believe they use little plastic cups rather than Coke or beer bottles and we have no idea where these samples are supposed to go.
So, here is the proposition:
- The probability that morons will cease littering is absolutely zero.
- You can make a difference by removing litter in this area.
- You can easily document your litter removal efforts and report them to this web site before you toss the bag into a trash bin. We will incorporate your litter collections into this report!
- Don’t fudge the statistics. Reality is grim enough.
I envision all sorts of interesting assessments of human behavior that can be developed from this report. For example:
- The number of “health-conscious” litterbugs who favor “light” beer versus the number of “macho” drivers who discard products such as “Steel Reserve.”
- Are “Steel Reserve” drinkers fiercely independent, and could they threaten the “Bud Light” wimps on Constellation Road?
- We could even speculate on why “Miller Light” is so poorly represented when compared to “Bud and/or Coors Light” drinkers.
- Are Coca Cola litterbugs registered voters? Do they belong to the same political party as the Pepsi crew?
With sufficient statistical data we can easily determine the major litter points along Constellation and Buckhorn Roads. Inquiring minds want to know.
So, if you would like to help please drop us a note via the web site and we will include your litter collection efforts.