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Monthly Archives: February 2015

I’ve been photographing trash in the streets for about as long as I’ve had a camera–can’t really explain why, except that as a member of the consumer culture, we are always told what to buy, but when we’ve used up whatever it was we bought, we are told to discard the remains in “an appropriate container”–a trash can, a toilet, a landfill–so trash on the street is a violation of the social code.  Of course, it is impossible to know why the trash is there–if it was dropped by negligence, or discarded in contempt.

This morning, I discovered two dropped bags–


Bag #1, Division Street, February 3, 2015

Bag #1, Division Street, February 3, 2015


The first bag appears to be a grocery bag from a local supermarket that I sometimes frequent–they always ask “paper or plastic”–a question I resent–I don’t care which–but their plastic bags are green–so even those who chose that option can look “green”.  When I first saw the bag, I was attracted to the texture the bag had assumed–not a normal texture for an empty discarded bag–but then, on a closer look, I realized that the bag was not, in fact, empty.  It had apparently been squashed, and the contents–dog shit–had come oozing out.  I thought about picking up the bag, but I was a half mile from home, and the wet dog shit was not well contained–so I left the bag.


Bags (2 of 2)

The second bag I discovered a block or two further down the street, on the edge of the sidewalk, right by a walkway leading up to a house.  This one was a carefully sealed zip lock baggie, wet on the outside, but the contents appeared dry.   Since recreational pot was legalized last summer, I sometimes catch a whiff of the fragrant odor while on my morning walks through this neighborhood–no need to hide anymore–so no problem with picking up the bag.  But my vice of choice tends to be cheap wine–I only tried pot once or twice decades ago–and I have a teenage son who is trying to stay away from the stuff–so maybe not a good idea to pick up this bag to take it home.  I took the photo, and started walking away–but then thought about some kid coming by and picking it up–maybe not a good idea to leave it there–maybe I should knock on the door to see if the homeowner dropped it?  But there was a big truck in the driveway, a boat beside the house–looked like a respectable homeowner–what if the pot wasn’t his?  In the end, I made the same decision as with bag #1–I left it where I found it.   Someone else was responsible for dropping it, someone else can clean it up.