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Friday, March 25, 2011

Trash, trash and more trash--Oh My!!

In reading the book “Momentum” by Allison Fine on the development of and using the internet to create social change I was surprised how one community, Martha’s Vineyard, solved the problem of trash on their beaches. A great deal of time was spent by people paid to pick up the trash from the trash baskets on their beaches. It seemed that no matter how often the trash containers were picked up they still seemed to have trash overflowing from them. This not only was costly for the community but created unsanitary conditions and a problem with seagulls and rodents. The simple solution was to remove the trash containers and put up signs saying “No barrels, No Trash, No Kidding.” Guess what? People took their trash with them!

This got me thinking about the trash baskets that CA maintains along its paths and at Tot Lots. They seem to be used primarily for dog owners to drop their bags of dog poop and fast food trash. I am sure that CA could have more productive things for their open space maintenance employees to do than empty these containers. Maybe it is time to have them removed.

What about the possibility of having a program for our path system like what the State and County do with the “Adopt a Highway” program for picking up trash. I am sure that open space maintenance employees spend a considerable amount of time in keeping the path system clean and in good order. Maybe there are community groups that would enjoy assisting this in an “Adopt a Path” program. Sounds like a great effort for Boys and Girl Scouts, religious congregations, walking, biking and running clubs. I know I frequently pick up trash and clear fallen tree branches and twigs off the paths on my runs. This could be expanded to garden and flower groups to deal with planting and greenery along the paths. I am sure that there are many other types of partnerships that are possible to keep our green spaces clean and attractive. Any other ideas???

Tomorrow March 26 the Columbia Association is sponsoring a “Columbia-Wide Clean Up Day” from 10 am to 1 pm. If you are interested in participating you can call Sean Harbaugh, assistant director of open space for Columbia Association at 410-381-3470 or just go to one of the following locations.


Where to Park

Cleanup Area

Dorsey’s Search


Dorsey Hall Pool

4649 Columbia Road

CA and County open space behind the Dorsey Hall Pool and along the Plum Tree Branch and Red Hill Branch

Harper’s Choice


Longfellow Pool

5257 Eliot’s Oak Road

Stream valley from Harper’s Farm Road through behind Hildebrand Court, Mystic Court and Killingworth Way

Hickory Ridge


Clary’s Forest Pool

11615 Little Patuxent Parkway

Open space play meadow in the interior of the Little Patuxent Parkway loop and the path that runs parallel to Dark Fire

Kings Contrivance


Amherst House

7251 Eden Brook Lane

Open space and natural area behind the Amherst House and near Dickinson Pool

Long Reach



Locust Park Pool

8995 Lambskin Lane

Open space across from Locust Park Pool following stream to Route 175 underpass

Oakland Mills



Columbia Ice Rink

5876 Thunder Hill Road

From the Ice Rink to Whiteacre Road and the open space area along the path towards Talbott Springs Pool

Owen Brown


Lake Elkhorn – dock side parking lot

Dockside Lane

Lake Elkhorn and the forebay area

River Hill


River Hill Village Center - Claret Hall

6020 Daybreak Circle

Behind Gentle Call down past Ascending Moon Path

Town Center


Historic Oakland Manor

5430 Vantage Point Road

Wilde Creek stream valley from Little Patuxent Parkway to Lake Kittamaqundi

Wilde Lake



Wilde Lake Barn

10027 Hyla Brook Road

Wilde Lake stream valley from Wilde Lake upstream to Faulkner Ridge Circle


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the posting on the Clean Up day tomorrow. We are looking forward to a great turnout. Hopefully the cool weather doesn’t deter too many folks. Also, thanks for the comment regarding the debris along the pathway. Sean – Open Space Management

jessie N said...

Duane, I ditto what Sean says, above. And am deeply impressed by your exploration of community considerations. You blend perspectives, research, history and questions/vision all in one. Keep on keepin' on.

One of the aspects of the Burning Man culture and experience is the No MOOP (matter out of place, i.e. trash) culture. There are nooooooo trash cans anywhere, anytime for anyone under any experience. Camps have to manage their own trash; every bit. And the post-event team scours all 5-square-ish miles of the playa afterward and creates a MOOP map, giving camps green, yellow or red ratings. Red? Your camp can't come back as a theme camp ... and people spend a lot of time developing theme camps.

PS - I'll be at the Oakland Mills clean up scene.