Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Troubled Beverage Containers On the Brink

A plastic bottle was apprehended at 5:45 Friday morning near the corner of Harrison and Ewing Streets. It appeared to be on the verge of escaping into the storm drain, a classic entry point to a network of pipes, streams and rivers that lead out to the ocean, where bottles like this one have been known to break down into little bits that clog the stomachs of fish, turtles and birds.

The bottle's actions were in clear violation of the local ordinance, posted for all to see on the storm drain itself: "NO DUMPING. DRAINS TO RIVER." But just like people, bottles often don't bother to read the signs.

The bottle was taken in for questioning and the standard mug shots. Though it was impossible to get fingerprints, the authorities were able to record the bottle's carbon footprint for future identification.
So many bottles, just like this one, come into our community filled with the effervescence of hope. They're given the star treatment on brightly lit grocery shelves, only to be sold into a treacherous world of consumption. Too many end up drained and discarded, left to fend for themselves on the streets of our fair town.

Just around the block an aluminum can, ironically named "Sprite", lay flattened and scarred by life on the street, teetering on the brink of slipping into the same downward spiral.

We've all seen containers like these at loose ends in Princeton, drop outs, rejects, hanging out next to curbs, where they find the insidious influences of gravity and stormwater irresistible.

I do what I can to rescue them from a life of visual and ecological vandalism, but one person walking a dog can only do so much. The government's safety net, intended to steer these troubled containers towards more productive roles in society, has long been the target of considerable skepticism. Given this grim state of affairs, it's good to know that hope springs eternal, naturally breaks down into its constituent parts, and can be recycled indefinitely.


Anonymous said...

So very clever. And an important message, to boot!

SpE said...

Great story, nice way to raise awareness of this important issue!