Heading into Toronto at a slow crawl on the Gardiner Expressway I see the signs, their LED bulbs aglow. These are new. They read: Keep Toronto roads clean. Don’t litter.
This is an idea I’ve been pushing at MTO, whose main roadside litter guy, Mike, welcomed my advocacy. We will be seeing at long last a dedicated litter message displayed during the summer on new provincial road signs slated for some Ontario highways. You would think something like that would be easy to orchestrate, a classic no-brainer. In reality, making alterations to any existing government communications program and its bureaucratic approach feels like trying to break into jail.
Next, I want the transport ministry to mention littering on driver license renewal forms.
Another highlight to note, I see there’s a LiveGreen Toronto subway ad campaign to encourage people to recycle, probably aimed at condo dwellers, whose boards are notoriously slow to get with the environmental times.
On occasion I notice really clean commercial lots around town. What a great calling card it is to see open lawns, decent, well-placed containers, conveying respect and caring! The halo effect seemed to spill to the street and sidewalks, which were amazingly absent of litter for a city like Toronto.
I know everyone says, “Toronto is a clean city”. If we are, we are a clean city with a very dirty secret. Cast your eyes to the broad landscape and you can’t tell me I’m wrong.
(June 8, 2014) Had a message from Toronto Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes inviting me to speak to a joint Business Improvement Area meeting of 20 or so business owners next Friday. I said I would be delighted. Litterers pose a particular problem for retailers.
I’ll be heading to Etobicoke, home of Toronto’s notorious mayor, (who I exposed as a litterer – search keywords: Sheila White Rob Ford littering.) Fortunately, he’s in drug-and-alcohol rehab right now and can’t do any more damage for a while.
He’s the human version of the Exxon Valdez.
Atrophied, wooden and full of holes, this could be a replica of the brain of someone who litters. The profile of a litterer is not a handsome one. How intriguing that a burl on an ancient apple tree could look so much like the dead wood, dead head types who really are not thinking when they trash everyday surroundings. Most are not out to cause willful and malicious damage, but all litterers are thoughtless. In my house they would be called "tupi". That's 'stupid' without the 's' and the 'd'!