Alki trash trouble: Can’t we all just pick up after ourselves?

Alki photographer David Hutchinson has contributed so many breathtaking scenes to WSB – and a few others that evoke something closer to sighs of disgust. This one’s from Thursday, but the issue is unfortunately timeless. He wrote: “It was a beautiful sunrise at Alki Beach (Thursday) morning – until I took a closer look.”

He continues:

This type of scene was repeated at many of the metal fire containers from 59th Ave east along Alki Ave for 3 blocks. There was also a good deal of litter around the picnic tables just east of the Bathhouse. I realize that the photo was taken before the Parks crew made their morning rounds, but I think it’s a shame that visitors to the beach feel free to leave it in this condition.

19 Replies to "Alki trash trouble: Can't we all just pick up after ourselves?"

  • JesusHC June 26, 2010 (9:31 am)

    If this is a regular occurrence I would support stopping access to the fire pits completely, at least at night. If people can’t respect the environment and surrounding community enough to pick up their garbage, they need to go away.

  • Neal Chism June 26, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Nice sunset image!

    I think the trash shown in this second image may be from a party the seagulls had overnight. People don’t usually go the trouble of shredding the plastic bags that they already put garbage into and then throwing the trash on the ground. Also look at the foot prints in the sand around the trash. Blame the people most of the time, and get some better lids on the trash cans to keep the wildlife out for the other times.

    Neal Chism

  • I. Ponder June 26, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Absolutely disgusting!

  • M S June 26, 2010 (10:11 am)

    how awful. I recently took my preschool class on a filed trip to alki beach and whenever my kids found garbage on the ground they would say “oh-oh! somebody made a wrong choice!” and oferred to pick up the garbage. I guess my point is to educate our children to do the right thing for our environment from early on.

  • CandrewB June 26, 2010 (11:03 am)

    Not offering a defense, but crows and gulls pull a lot of trash out of containers to root through them.

  • I. Ponder June 26, 2010 (11:48 am)

    On the other hand you can see that most of the trash is plastic. Even those of us who properly dispose of our plastic packaging are fouling the planet. We just don’t want to look at it. We’d rather pretend that throwing it in the trash or recycling bin makes us good people.

    Here’s an example. Americans buy 29 billion water bottles a year. It takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to make all these bottles. That is the same amount of oil as 60,000 barrels a day spilling into the Gulf for 283 days! That oil is being used to make stuff we don’t actually need. If we don’t need it, then why are we doing high risk drilling? Maybe I’m wrong and those water bottles really are important.

    So, who’s making the right choice?

  • David Hutchinson June 26, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Neal Chism & CandrewB,

    Unfortunately, I don’t believe the litter shown had been removed from a trash can. Yes, crows & gulls had rummaged through it, but the site is quite a distance from any trash can and the birds were simply taking advantage of the situation. I live across the street from the beach and had observed a large group of people who gathered there the previous evening. Also, as pointed out in my original posting to the WSB, there were a number of the fire rings, each surrounded by this type of litter.
    Unless you visit the beach very early in the morning, you probably won’t encounter this type of scene as Parks & Recreation personnel come through, usually just after 7 AM, and have to deal with the mess.

  • neighborly June 26, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    How about teaching and practicing “pack it in, pack it out” when you go to a beach or other park where wildlife may get into garbage cans, and where garbage cans are likely to be overloaded? Then, you can more easily separate your garbage at home into recyclable, compostable and reusable.

  • uglybrowncrow June 26, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    The crows got to eat too.

  • Neal Chism June 26, 2010 (3:48 pm)

    From the photo it looks like there are some white trash bags that appeared to be initially filled, so a few are making atleast a modest attempt at collecting the stuff. You go down to Alki more often than I do so I will defer to your opinion on the matter. I guess I was trying to make sure that the right problem was being discussed. It would be premature to halt access to the beach and fire rings etc. if it were really more of a wildlife issue with most of the bins than due to shear number of visitors. And plastics are turning out to be a hugh environmental threat to not just the wildlife but all humans too. (I wonder what percentage of buget the Parks Dept. spends on Alki alone?)

  • CandrewB June 26, 2010 (4:23 pm)

    David, probably was mostly humans. However, last week from the bus, I watched a crow methodically empty a little bus stop garbage can and strew food wrappers and other detritus on the ground. If I was to walk by (not seeing that), I would have thought the worst about humanity and cursed the slobs.

  • MargL June 26, 2010 (7:08 pm)

    Well, crows -know- where the food is and are very capable of learning how to get it, even if it means getting creative about it…

  • WTF June 26, 2010 (7:44 pm)

    JesusHC, ditto.

  • alki_2008 June 26, 2010 (11:48 pm)

    Oh great. So everyone has to be denied access to the firepits because ‘some’ people are irresponsible and disrespectful of the beach? If people are going to litter, then what makes you think those people aren’t going to go the beach even without the firepits there?

    It’s like saying no one should be able to drink alcohol because ‘some’ people choose to drink and drive.

    Is that really the way society should be regulated? Restrict all access due to the actions of a few?

  • I. Ponder June 27, 2010 (12:43 am)

    Why don’t we have deposit bottles in this state? If each of those bottles was worth 10 cents they wouldn’t be on the beach.

    In California it’s 10¢ for 24oz. and greater and 5¢ under 24oz.

    Money is the best way to motivate the masses.

  • J June 27, 2010 (11:00 am)

    Crows are very smart. Perhaps we could start a project to train them to put the garbage IN the cans, rather than the reverse–then they could pick up after sloppy humans all over the city!

    Free idea for a student project! Design a trash can that rewards crows for depositing trash.

  • I. Ponder June 27, 2010 (11:34 am)

    Crows didn’t create all that useless plastic packaging. Please look at the source. A huge amount of oil, including oil from off-shore drilling in the Gulf goes to produce this garbage that people still think is AOK to produce as long as they don’t have to look at it on the beach. Let’s really look at it and eliminate it at the source.

    Crows may actually be smarter than people. I doubt they foul their own nests.

  • barry June 27, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    i see this all the time, i wish there was atleast a couple cops or security on foot to help with the problem. maybe a few tickets will get the point across

  • Rod Nelson June 27, 2010 (7:08 pm)

    It is quite obvious that the area is littered with garbage generated by humans. I doubt the birds went to Safeway/QFC/Costco and then neglected to clean up after their beach party.

Sorry, comment time is over.