Trash Love

One of the bigger events the Everett Neighborhood holds is a summertime trash pickup called, "Adopt-a-Block. We try to invite as many people to participate as we can. Each person picks out a block or two, and does volunteer trash pickup in that block for the summer. The program has garnered the attention of neighbors, other neighborhoods, city leaders, and local news outlets. Not to mention, the neighborhood looks much better all summer long! As a side note, any trash that can be picked up here, can potentially stop trash from reaching the rivers and oceans. Below are a couple articles and videos that touch on why the Everett Neighborhood Association promotes and supports this event.  

Here are some thoughts regarding the "Tools of the Trade" of trash pickup. 

This is an excerpt from an article written by Lou Blouin. See the entire article here Source:

... It turns out, there are actually people who study this topic. Among them is California State University social psychologist Wesley Schultz... Schultz says the establishment of that social norm against littering was a game changer. But social norms aren’t 100 percent effective in themselves. And with littering, Schultz’s research showed that people most often break that taboo for really practical reasons.

“We found that the distance to a trash receptacle was the strongest predictor of littering,” Schultz says. “So the farther away you are from a trash can or a recycling container, the more likely you are to litter.” ...

So if cities put trash or recycling containers in public spaces, people start doing the right thing again. And Schultz says this proves a basic assumption we make about litterers is totally wrong—namely, that people who litter, just do it because they don’t care.

“Often times people do care. But it’s too much of a hassle, it’s too inconvenient. And so people do litter, even though they already care about it,” Schultz says.

In other words—and Schultz says you could actually say this for a lot of environmental issues—we don’t mind doing the right thing as long as it’s not too disruptive to the way we live our lives. And it’s also clear that we have a huge influence on each other.

“The presence of existing litter was strongly predictive of littering behavior. So if you’re in a place that’s already highly littered, you’re much more likely to litter than if you’re in a place that’s clean or free of litter.”

This is an excerpt from an article written by Eve Andrews. See the entire article here Source:

... The ways in which humans deal with trash are enormously complex! Here are two truths: Litter is generally perceived as ugly and unpleasant, and lower-income neighborhoods tend to have more litter. This isn’t, however, because people with less money care less about the cleanliness and beauty of their environment. Wesley Schultz, a social psychologist with California State University, has spent a lot of time collecting data on why people litter, and the answer doesn’t have to do much with any internal motivation or value system. A more productive question, he says, would be: When do people litter?

Turns out that litter begets more litter. If you see a sidewalk or parklet scattered with cigarette butts and beer cans and chip bags, you’re more likely to toss your own detritus there. The same is true if there’s no trash receptacle nearby.

“When we watch someone litter or see a lot of litter, we say, ‘that person doesn’t care,’ or ‘that person has values that don’t align with mine,’” says Schultz. “And that turns out overwhelmingly not to be true. Most people think that littering is wrong; most people want to live in clean environments.”