‘Never-ending pattern’: Alki Beach gets trashed (again)

Earlier this week, in coverage of the Alki Community Council‘s latest meeting, we mentioned ongoing volunteer cleanups. After the Saturday sunshine brought throngs to the beach, they’re needed – though it would be even better if people would clean up after themselves. David Hutchinson shares photos and this report/request:

The rain is back and the yesterday’s crowds are gone from Alki Beach, but unfortunately they left something to remember them by.

Other than a change in what seems to be basic human behavior, I’m not sure what the answer is to this never-ending pattern – Alki Beach + sunshine and warmer weather = what you see in the photos. Perhaps better scheduling of garbage pickups, more garbage cans, better enforcement of existing regulations?

This issue was brought up at the most recent meeting of the Alki Community Council. In cooperation with Seattle Parks & Recreation, the Council sponsors a small group of volunteers, “Friends of Alki Beach,” who have tried to help out in this era of budget cutbacks. We are responsible for the area of the Park from 59th Ave SW to 63rd Ave SW.

If you are interested in lending a hand, contact Larry Carpenter of the ACC at 206-938-0887. The Council is always interested in community concerns on issues impacting the Alki neighborhood.

You’ll recall the same problem came up last year – but that was before the latest round of budget cuts. We’ll be checking with Parks tomorrow.

4:43 PM MONDAY: From Parks’ Joelle Hammerstad:

We’re not staffed at full summer capacity right now. We’re close, but we’re not there yet. We’re doing the whole district with two to three people, and we just can’t get to everything at once. When we get a sunny day before we’re fully staffed, we can get behind on trash pickup. After our crews finished the ballfields and the restrooms, they headed over to Alki. By the time our crew got down there, the volunteers who have offered to help pick up litter had already taken care of a lot of trash. We can’t afford to staff it consistently and we just don’t know what the weather is going to do. In this case, it was dirty for several hours on Saturday, but with the volunteers help and our staff, we caught up with it by Sunday evening.

81 Replies to "'Never-ending pattern': Alki Beach gets trashed (again)"

  • John D. April 24, 2011 (5:23 pm)

    This is a problem based in lack of principles and ethics, and an apathetic and complacent attitude of the people in their view of public respect and responsibility. Perhaps it’s even more about the perspective that they pay taxes for people to clean up after them, so that they can have the convenience of not worrying about their overall impact.

    Just thinking out loud :)

  • Noelle April 24, 2011 (5:35 pm)

    The city needs to try to keep up on this trash issue because Summer is just around the bend!

  • JanS April 24, 2011 (5:47 pm)

    amazing…simply amazing….sadly, I’m betting this isn’t only just from kids who haven’t been taught any better. I’m willing to bet there are a few adults(yeah, “a few”) doing this , too. In another thread I mentioned that I live just north of the Hiawatha tennis courts. It’s the direct route from the high school to JITB or Met Mkt at lunch time. There is trash/garbage every day after lunch…chocolate milk cartons thrown in the hedges along fences…wrappers from burgers, take out containers, soda cups and cans…it’s constantly out on our street…are we not teaching people anything?

  • WestSide45 April 24, 2011 (6:02 pm)

    Looks like the work of standard beach-going idiots whose mothers didn’t raise them to respect anyone or anything. There’s a good chance most of these miscreants are from outside West Seattle. I say, on sunny days, there should be automatic gates which close on the exit from the West Seattle Bridge so access to Alki is limited to residents. If foreigners choose to go up Admiral Way and over the hill to the beach armed sentries should be posted at every corner, forcing a change of direction.

  • Near Alki April 24, 2011 (6:15 pm)

    It would appear people attempted to put their trash in the garbage cans, but when it begins to overflow…what can you do? More garbage cans, larger cans, cans for recyclables and food waste too.

  • Jeremiah April 24, 2011 (6:30 pm)

    People are trying to do the right thing; get more trash cans out there!

  • DTK April 24, 2011 (6:31 pm)

    Humans are nothing but a virus on planet earth. We will not change until every nook and cranny is trashed, burned and soiled. Happy Easter!!!

  • OP April 24, 2011 (6:33 pm)

    While an obviously small sample size, perhaps more garbage cans would be in order. This doesn’t forgive the trash left behind on the stairs and on the beach, but surely the city has more than a few extra garbage cans. If not, I’ve got two in my yard they’re welcome to have—then again, they may not meet “regulation” cans. Insert a big frustrated sigh here….

  • Paul April 24, 2011 (6:53 pm)

    yes we as humans suck, but I think they need a few more garbage cans. When they get stuffed like this the birds will scatter it all around

  • Pete April 24, 2011 (7:01 pm)

    Someone needs to remember that Alki is a public space like any other area of the city of Seattle. Looks like WestSide45 should not be allowed anywhere in the city of Seattle other than where he lives. More trash cans and a little common sense would go a long way. Maybe someone should set up a little business down at Alki on nice days and sell common sense by the bottle.

  • coffee April 24, 2011 (7:03 pm)

    It seems to me that there are no recycle or food waste containers rather just cans?

  • cj April 24, 2011 (7:10 pm)

    Looks like they need both bigger garbage bins and maybe more frequent pick up.

  • Alison April 24, 2011 (7:11 pm)

    I think it’s a combination of the city needing more garbage cans (so those crazy seagulls stay out of them)and people not being respectful of where they put their dirty garbage. As soon as the weather gets nice around here people come out of the woodwork and go down to Alki. Wouldn’t you think the city would know this by now and install more garbage cans? In fact they should go a step further and have recycling bins down there too.

  • David Hutchinson April 24, 2011 (7:11 pm)

    I should mention that this heavily used section of Alki Beach Park has 5 standard green dumpsters, or 1 per block, between 59th Ave SW and 56th Ave SW. When we cleaned up the area today, these dumpsters were virtually empty.
    There really is no excuse for not taking the small amount of time and effort to walk the short distance and deposit the trash in an appropriate place.
    David Hutchinson

  • DM April 24, 2011 (7:31 pm)

    How about: if you bring it in, you pack it out?

  • austin April 24, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    If somebody sees an overflowing garbage can and throws their trash next to it instead of just packing it out, it’s a pretty safe bet that same somebody isn’t going to give a rat’s ass about recycling and compost bins.

  • JanS April 24, 2011 (7:56 pm)

    yet, every summer there are concerts in the North Meadow of Woodland Park Zoo every Wednesday evening….families, etc…upwards of 3K or more…and when the people leave there is not trash strewn about. We take it with us, or put it in the receptacles provided as we walk to the exit to leave. If it can be done there, it should be able to be done at Alki, too…what’s the fine for littering these days?

  • Forest April 24, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    Part of the overflow problem is the pockets of air in the trash can from empty cups & water bottles. I don’t have raised hopes, but maybe there is some way to educate the crowds at Alki Beach about stacking discarded cups and especially about carrying their bottled health water in reusable canteens inside of throwaway plastic.

  • chas redmond April 24, 2011 (8:28 pm)

    JanS – those concerts cost to get in – perhaps it’s associated with the cost of the venue – Alki is free consequently there’s less consciousness about littering. It’s a public space, the Zoo is – effectively – a private space. Littering is littering, though. It boils down to selfishness. When one thinks only of oneself this is the expected result.

  • I. Ponder April 24, 2011 (8:38 pm)

    Some people-friendly signs like the ones on Pigeon Hill, reminding people that this is THEIR neighborhood and to keep it clean or call their mommies to come clean up after them like they do at home.

  • vortex2.71 April 24, 2011 (8:45 pm)

    I really think this is a parks department issue first and foremost. People are willing to stuff a garbage can very full in order to dispose of their trash without having to walk another block. In doing so, they neglect to realize that the seagulls and crows will always make a mess of overstuffed garbage cans. Solution: the parks department can have one of its custodians on call, so that when we have a nice spring day that corresponds with a weekend, that person goes and empties the garbages multiple times on that day. It seems like there is no one who is making the connection that nice weather equals more garbage.

  • drock April 24, 2011 (8:45 pm)

    I think we also need more strict anti-cruising laws and beat cops writing littering tickets. They would pay for themselves.

  • E Klapperich April 24, 2011 (8:56 pm)

    Recycle bins for glass, plastic, and paper.

  • Noelle April 24, 2011 (9:09 pm)

    I know this may sound silly, but sometimes people DO NOT KNOW they can use those green dumpsters. I have been asked a few times by random Alki-going people if the dumpsters near the beach are for public use or if they are for something else . . . I don’t know what else the dumpsters would be for, but maybe some signs might help?

  • Concerned citizen April 24, 2011 (9:13 pm)

    Now more than ever we need community support to help keep our public park spaces clean. The Parks Department budget took a major hit in 2011 especially on the maintenance side; this is only the beginning of what could be decreased trash pickup, plant bed maintenance and building (including restroom) repair & cleaning.

  • Paul April 24, 2011 (9:30 pm)

    how about a new law that says it’s ok if you see somebody litter you can punch them in the face?

  • bridge to somewhere April 24, 2011 (9:40 pm)

    I have to believe this is the least annoying part of living at Alki in the summer.

  • Paul April 24, 2011 (10:08 pm)

    I see evidence of a smores party?

  • Wisepunk April 24, 2011 (10:23 pm)

    After reading that there are over 400 Seattle parks employees in the times last week, I find it hard to believe there isn’t enough manpower to put some people on the beach to try and maintain the park for everyone.

  • DM April 24, 2011 (10:26 pm)

    The city can’t “mind read” the weather, anticipating beautiful days. We need to clean up after ourselves. If you bring something with you to the beach, take it away from the beach. It’s simple.

  • Great April 24, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    I like the idea of closing the Beach to non WS residents. I can then purchase more properties as the area slowly declines. I no longer live in WS, but you are all welcome to MP, just want to see your ID w/ corresponding zip code 98112 only please! I am just kidding of course! It’s a public beach and this is a byproduct.

  • LyndaB April 24, 2011 (10:31 pm)

    Second the comment about packing it in and packing it out.

  • Norma Berube-Adler April 24, 2011 (10:31 pm)

    @Westside45, foreigners? Anyone not a resident of Alki is a foreigner & should stay out? Fine then stay put in Alki & as a foreigner to be, don’t trespass beyond Alki. A few more garbage cans & some stiff fines ( person patrolling) should do it.

  • DC April 24, 2011 (10:43 pm)

    This is a logistic issue and nothing more. While it’s always fun to jump up and down and rant about how inconsiderate those other people act (compared to our own unapproachable behavior, of course) the problem is either a lack of budget or poor resource management.
    Cut the appropriate amount of money from the park department’s budget and bid it out to private company with penalties for non-performance for pictures such as this. We’d be putting some eager local people to work and solving the problem. When alki is busy, you see the owners of local restaurants and other businesses bussing tables, working registers, and manning the kitchens to keep up. If there is money to be made in exchange for hard work, people will rise to the occasion, especially in this economy.
    Of course, then we’d probably have a bunch of union folks picketing the beach because the business owner is only paying the trash crew $10 an hour, so never mind…

  • I. Ponder April 24, 2011 (10:57 pm)

    People don’t want to pay taxes but still want services. Pack it up and dump it at Tim Eyman’s house. He’s smart, he’ll know where to put it.

    And to Wisepunk who finds it hard to believe there isn’t enough manpower to put some people on the beach to try and maintain the park for everyone. Please volunteer to take charge of getting this manpower put to proper use. Please call the city as needed and make sure they follow your instructions. There are so many great opportunities for volunteering to improve our communities.

  • Nick April 24, 2011 (11:48 pm)

    If all the trash cans look like that you obviously need more trash cans. The fact that it’s overflowing says they are at least trying but the trash will reach the ground if the bin is full. Simple concept.

  • Katie April 25, 2011 (12:07 am)

    We are new to Seattle and went down to Alki last night for dinner. I was amazed at the change the nice weather brought. I understand there is no way to predict weather, and forsee parks staffing needs, but saw behavior that made us so uncomfortable we left. Young men knocking things out of passersby’s hands to begin. I also saw no police presence and an awful lot of cruising. The music coming from the cars was so loud my 3 year old was scared and I had to carry her. Very sad to see Alki like that.

  • DM April 25, 2011 (12:48 am)

    If you show up at the beach with items that wont fit into an over stuffed garbage can, would it inconvience people to take it home?

    Take it home. Place it in your own garbage. Cope with it the way you should.

  • Mike April 25, 2011 (12:57 am)

    Police being present would be a start. I drove down and had to wait for a gang of kids to actually continue walking across Admiral Way. They honest to god stopped mid way jaywalking to block traffic.
    The city needs money, start ticketing for jaywalking, cruising along Alki, noise violations, harassing people, littering, fights, drugs, alcohol, parking violations, all at Alki on nice days on weekends. If I see all that within one hour cycling, then there is no reason SPD can’t see it too.
    There is a need for more trash cans, but the bigger problem is the trash known to hang out at Alki during nice weather. They won’t use trash cans.
    Time to start taking back Alki to be family friendly and clean. It’s a public place, that means it should be safe for everyone and enjoyable by everyone. If a select group of people want to destroy it, I’d be more than happy to see them ticketed and / or hauled off to jail.

  • CandrewB April 25, 2011 (6:05 am)

    This happens every year. The police won’t step up patrols until some major incident (brawl shown on KOMO, a shooting, etc). Then the city acts as if it is all a big surprise and deploys a command presence for a couple of weeks.

  • Cowpie April 25, 2011 (7:44 am)

    @DTK…You’re correct!

    “Humans are nothing but a virus on planet earth. We will not change until every nook and cranny is trashed, burned and soiled.”

    I can’t watch nature shows anymore knowing that we’ll find a way to kill every other species on this planet….and none of that matters as long as we’re happy and comfortable. Stop breeding people! Why do you need that child….or is it that you simply want it?

  • CR April 25, 2011 (8:09 am)

    This isn’t brain science. We need twice as many trash cans and we need the higher volume ones like we have at the south most end of Alki.

    Unless we think that litter bugs only come out on sunny day, an absurd argument, then it is clear that people are no more or less likely to litter on sunny days..the problem is they don’t have an easy alternative to littering because the trash cans are all full!

    This happend all the time when I was living in Hawaii…the answer … more big trash cans. They had the extra problem of people stealing trash cans which can easily be solved by just chaining the cans…glad we already have this measure in place.

  • Poltergeist April 25, 2011 (8:26 am)

    A related issue is motorcycle (especially) and auto noise. A few autos and sport bike riders cruise along Alki and constantly rev their engines. Others operate with straight pipes and set off car alarms. The noise level is dangerous to humans and animals. There are ordinances against this. They need to be vigorously enforced.

  • PCL April 25, 2011 (8:42 am)

    Act like animals, get treated like one: all trash-happy people will have plastic bags tied around their necks while walking…

  • SarahScoot April 25, 2011 (8:58 am)

    “…the problem is they don’t have an easy alternative to littering because the trash cans are all full!”
    Really, CR? I agree that adding more trash cans would be the easy solution, and seems to be needed (actually, I’d like to see recycling bins out there, too). However, if a trash can is full the alternative is not to litter. One should carry that trash with her until she finds a suitable receptacle: not a private trash can, not an overflowing one, and not the ground.
    I don’t understand what is so difficult about this concept. Maybe it’s because I was a Girl Scout for twelve years, but I have never questioned that I should leave a place the same or better than I found it. That means packing out any trash I brought in, and sometimes taking the trash of others with me.

  • Wisepunk April 25, 2011 (9:40 am)

    I ponder-

    You must not have read that article in the times. The same thing is happening in downtown in occidental park, and cleanscapes volunteered to pick up the trash. The city said no, because this work would encroach on the park employees union work. My point is this: we need to pay taxes to hire people to clean the parks, and those empoyees need to do their jobs. Right now the people are there, and the money is there, yet the work isn’t getting done. There is more than one city park employee for every park in the city limits, the least they could do is deploy some of those resources, that are paid for by all of us, where they are needed when they are needed.

  • Dana April 25, 2011 (10:31 am)

    My husband was just saying “when did the cast of Jersey Shore take over West Seattle?”…. I think nice weather brings douchebags…So we should target this demographic…What if we put a girl in a bikini at every trash can?

    I also agree that there are plenty of trash cans/dumpsters down there and if one is full, I simply walk to an empty one. This seems obvious… But I am not a douchebag (herein DB). DB’s have other things to think about, like showing off their lowered truck/shiny rims/ bumpin bass/bicepts/crotch rockets/sunglasses/ tanktops/ jewelry/ cologne/ tan etc. They are much too busy to search for an empty can.

    But seriously, I think the problem is the type of people hanging out down there, not the type/amount of trashcans. And there is nothing we can do about the people…except ticket them for littering, cruising, noise violation, etc.

  • DWHJ April 25, 2011 (10:32 am)

    this city is so stupid trash cans don’t cost much and its a lot more easy to to dump cans than it is pick trash off the ground put a can every 50 ft. and empty them regularly problem solved for way less than the cost of a crew every time there’s a warm day.But when a solution is so easy its for some reason dismissed probably because if u cant create a new tax or a law the rich wont get there cut huh!

  • dawsonct April 25, 2011 (10:42 am)

    You have PROOF that the parks Dept. have the people to respond to this WP? We Americans have been cutting taxes like there was no tomorrow for well over 30 years now, at some point you will BARELY have enough funding to maintain the infrastructure our forebears bequeathed us. I think this is simply another symptom of those principles.
    Does EACH one of those PD employees work in parks maintenance? I doubt it.

    I like Greenscapes, I think they have done an excellent job collecting trash and recycling, but I don’t feel that piecemeal privatization of public services is a good idea, and I feel that we have three decades of proof that turning government services over to private entities results in greater cost to the taxpayer and restricted services.

    • WSB April 25, 2011 (10:46 am)

      I do have an inquiry officially out to Parks, BTW, who did have an official explanation/response when this all came up a year ago (note the link toward the bottom of this story), and will update whenever we hear something. – TR

  • Cheryl April 25, 2011 (11:17 am)

    This makes me SO sad… and something I’ve noticed is a trend all over the city. Too few trash cans! What the heck?
    In the meantime, why can’t citizens do what us avid outdoorsy-hiking types have always done, if you pack it, pack it back out! That means, TAKE YOUR TRASH HOME when you’re done enjoying the beach, park, forest.

  • patt April 25, 2011 (11:33 am)

    What ever happened to the “Don’t be a litter bug” campaign that was around in the 50?, 60’s and 70’s. ?

    What happen to peer pressure.

  • Cait April 25, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Funny how people forget that “age-ism” is ALSO not allowed on WSB, isn’t it WestSide45? Luckily I can’t figure out how to report your comment. And Dana, while I admittedly got a bit of a chuckle out of your post, it’s in the same vein. Whatever we have to do convince ourselves and others that no one LIKE US would litter, right?

    Maybe a more productive conversation would be “We have ALL littered before. Every single one of us, on at least one occasion. What would have kept you from doing it and what do you think would keep others who are perhaps more prone to littering from doing it?” Ask the EPA what good it does to complain about litterers and think of them as “the other”. It’s all of us. Let’s start THERE.

    Isn’t it pretty clear from the proximity of the garbage to the cans that people are actually trying to be responsible with their waste? We can moan all we want about people needing to pack it back with them but I will tell you right now it is not feasible for people to carry their crap a half-mile back down the beach with them. It does us no good to have unrealistic expectations of people and build a dream solution around that. How are you ever going to find a solution?

    “But I’m a militant recycler and I’ve never littered so much as a day in my life.” Wonderful, Captain Planet. Now how about for the sake of the argument you just play along like you are because I can guarantee that you are MAYBE one of three people on earth that this is true of. Not that a salmon sifting through everyone else’s garbage on their way to spawn is going to care about your specific role in its plight.

    Bottom line – people do suck. BUT. If you give them an ounce more convenience, you will get a pound of results. If you put in more trash cans, these same people who are clearly trying to be responsible will be able to! Furthermore, you do NOT get to get indignant about the garbage problem on Alki when you did not vote to fund the jobs and resources necessary to keep it clean. Sorry. It’s not even an argument, it’s a fact. And no, being more “responsible” about their now practically non-existant budget is not going to help because….

    Everyone who has lived in WS for any part of he last 20 years KNOWS Alki has ALWAYS been a problem. As a local I just know not to bring anything that will become trash to Alki with me. Just won’t do it in the first place. If I want to walk down the beach with my Starbucks, I will plan on making it last all the way until I get home to toss it. But that’s just the point – I’m FROM here. I know these issues. People from outside West Seattle who visit Alki (who are HUGE contributors to our local economy by the by) don’t know this. And I cannot confidently say that I would not, as one of them, pile my trash on top of a can and think “Well, maybe this will teach them to put it more cans and patrols.”

  • Jeff April 25, 2011 (11:56 am)

    I really think the city does a good job; those guys who maintain the area work very hard. After the really bad day last May, this didn’t really repeat itself. It was unusually warm and there were thousands of people at the beach. Not much to be done when there’s no plan for picking up the trash yet.

    AS far as blaming it on the beach goers I don’t see it. If you look at most of the trash it was place on, or next to, the trash cans and dumpsters. People did make an effort to at least put it near the proper place.

    It’s just one of those confluences of circumstance. Tt’s not a sign of the end of human civilization.

  • RG April 25, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    Litter I’ve seen on Alki on my morning walks:
    17 unpaired flip flops (that was July 5th)
    Used condom
    Broken beer glass in the sand (where the kiddos play)
    Passed out intoxicated man
    Plastic liquor bottles, etc
    Piece of carpet, larger in area than my living room
    Tire skid marks before crosswalks
    Huge pile of ashes with half-melted plastic bottles
    Crock pot
    Metal detector man
    What I’d like to see are “Littering is Illegal – $200 fine” signs.

  • Nulu April 25, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    How about the thriving Alki area businesses that supply those disposable cups, wrappers and other sources of litter being held accountable for some of the mess?

    Much of this trash could be traced to its source.

    During slow periods and rainy days their staffs could make a tremendous difference.

    I also feel “Dana’s” use the “DB” phrase to be sexist and inappropriate for WSB although her reference to her husband might be the source of such casual use?
    And I was not aware that the cast of Jersey Shore was known primarily for their littering.

  • Forest April 25, 2011 (1:20 pm)

    Wisepunk –
    Please tell me I’m misreading your 9:40 am comment. Do you honestly think that having “more than one city park employee for every park in the city limits” equals surplus labor that should be enough to keep the parks (a number of which cover 10s of acres) free of litter?

  • Arthur Larson April 25, 2011 (2:11 pm)

    It looks like from the photos that we need more trash containers or more frequent pickup or a combination of the two. Also a public education campaign seems in order such as ” Pack it in Pack it out”.

  • Yardvark April 25, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    Recycling and yard waste bins should cut the “trash” by 50-80%. Hard to believe they’re not in use already.

    Then use solar powered trash compactors like other major cities do for the rest. Way less expensive than hiring an extra employee or two or four.
    Most importantly, don’t think blaming the litterbug will solve anything.

  • Cait April 25, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    Nulu – the only problem with tracing it back to the source is that it doesn’t hold the right people accountable. OK, say you find a Starbucks to go cup in the sand – clearly the customer wanted to take their beverage to the beach. Starbucks is no longer responsible for it because the assumption is that the customer is leaving and not coming back to that specific Starbucks to throw it out. You can’t mandate that Starbucks make people stay in their business and you can’t mandate that people go back to that specific business to throw it away. The burden clearly has to be on the public trash cans. Love the idea of solar compactors by the way.

  • Ah April 25, 2011 (3:33 pm)

    As an alki resident I do hope they come up with some solution to this problem. It’s a real shame that often the beach can only be enjoyed on less that stellar weather days due to the crowds when the sun comes out. Everyone deserves to enjoy alki’s beauty regardless of where they may live so why can’t everyone respect alki’s beauty as well? Only time will tell how this is resolved I guess..

  • foyboy April 25, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    Everybody is claiming budget cuts for the clean up problems in our parks including alki. But we are all mistaken. The city has lots of money for parks. Thier putting in a million dollars worth of new carpet at hundly park. Also another half mill for a new skatboard park. My point is the city likes building new stuff when they can’t take care of what they have. This sound like a spoiled little kid saying I don’t like taking care of my old toys daddy, I want new ones.

    • WSB April 25, 2011 (3:51 pm)

      Foy, I’m pretty sure this has been pointed out to you in earlier Parks-related threads. Like it or not, the projects you mention come from levy funding that is very specifically earmarked – by voter approval – for construction, not maintenance. Behooves us all (assuming you voted for the 2008 Parks levy) to ask about maintenance next time a levy is proposed.

  • T-Rex April 25, 2011 (4:06 pm)

    If trash comes, trash is left behind.

    Those of us who live down here respect the beach area and the neighboorhood we live in. Those who don’t, well they don’t. Even if we as residents ASKED these people to take their trash with them when they left AND handed them a trash bag, they still would not do it.

    The list RG posted is both sad and true.

  • foyboy April 25, 2011 (4:27 pm)

    Dear WSB We have found out many times the city has used the money from levys for other things then what was proposed. In school levys they have lied or put things in the small print so know one would find it. And spent the money on lawers for land claims for new schools. I remember the adds promoting the 2008 parks levy. We were told of how bad of shape the parks were in an how unsafe many were for our children. Even the news would go to different parks to back the claim. We were told of fact that our parks were run down and in need of repair. We were also told of the need to build new parks to keep up with growth. But one would think that common sense would kick in and someone with a brain might speak up and do what right and stop doing things just because. If someone spoke up and said it like it is I’m sure people would listen.

  • Dana April 25, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    Nulu, a “DB” can be both male and female… So don’t think it is sexist… But it was both a stereotype and an insult….Or did you mean the girls in bikini’s by the trash cans? I am sure ripped guys in swim trunks could also stand by the trash cans.
    But I was just trying to be funny. I apologize.

    My point is/was more that there is a demographic (young, beach cruising) that may think littering is ok to do and could be a big part of the problem. Like they are leaving trash because it is cool to not give a *bleep*. It may be that the cans filled up and people didn’t want to walk to another can and saw
    it as the city’s problem, or it may be that some of the weekend crowd have less manners or a bit of both… I don’t know.

    Yes, this is ageism…. But those punk kids don’t clean up after themselves. ;)

  • w.s. maverick April 25, 2011 (4:53 pm)

    we need bigger trash cans down there. In the summer the trash builds up fast on the weekends.

  • GenHillOne April 25, 2011 (5:41 pm)

    66 comments and no one has mentioned that both photos show the trash cans are being well-used as doggy (oh let’s hope anyway) urinals too?!

  • Michelle April 25, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    Wiseguy – some says it’s more productive to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Why should we ask permission from the city to stoop down and pick up the litter from our public grounds? The land belongs to all and should be open and used by all. Life creates excrement of all kinds. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep our planet clean. The original question was “are you interested in lending a hand”. So as the other saying goes “if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” Ask yourself, how can I help? Trust me, finger pointing and endless ranting is not helping. I am grabbing a trash bag and heading out……..

  • Cait April 25, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    Maybe it’s just that not enough young people read this blog that everyone feels that they can just flippantly say that kind of thing. So, I guess enjoy your opinion and I’ll take mine elsewhere. I just don’t think it’s a productive or fair statement to make in seriousness.

  • WSB April 25, 2011 (7:40 pm)

    If anyone thinks a comment violates the rules, please flag it, I’ve gone back over the thread and maybe I’ve got mud in my eyes, WestSide45 was accused of ageism and I don’t see it (if you mean the “their mothers” part, well, we all have moms, whether we’re 15 or 50 or 115). To Cait’s point, news audiences tend to skew older but with 30,000 weekly regulars, I am pretty sure there’s a fairly wide range of ages … hard to tell online since IP addresses don’t have age tests. Back to inappropriate comment, editor@westseattleblog.com – sorry we don’t have an “report this” button as we do in the forum … And as for litterers’ ages, I’ve seen it across the spectrum.
    Oh PS, if you haven’t seen it, I added Parks’ response a few hours ago at the end of the story …

  • I. Ponder April 25, 2011 (8:14 pm)

    Word on the street is Saturday was the last day of great weather for the year, so the problem will likely be moot.

  • Bring back the other mayor April 25, 2011 (8:35 pm)

    We charge for parking everywhere else,lets make beach visitors pay for parking and use that money for increased trash pickups and trash cans. Or make Alki a gated-community and charge for admission, that would reduce the cruisers and generate revenue for clean up.

  • It takes an Alki..... April 25, 2011 (8:38 pm)

    People are pigs, and all the trash cans in the world won’t fix that. How about Spuds, Starbucks, and all the other enablers putting in extra trash cans, and sending out a few of their people every half hour or so to help keep a handle on the mess?

  • vbd April 25, 2011 (8:42 pm)

    The vast majority of the trash in the photos appears to be cups and food containers purchased at the nearby businesses. I am whole heartedly in favor of the “pack it out” philosophy, but when you purchase something at the beach, and you don’t have a sanitary way to carry it around with you, it’s sure nice to be able to dispose of it. How about the businesses who sell all this stuff have nice big garbage cans outside their front door? If the coffee shops and burger joints can sell all this junk, they should bear some of the cost of keeping their neighborhood clean.

  • EF April 25, 2011 (8:50 pm)

    In regard to the new turf fields being built, don’t forget that the parks are charging raised fees for the use of all these new surfaces. All of the recreational sports that you see playing at our local fields are paying about triple to play on turf vs. dirt these days. Most of the fields around seattle and eastside are fully booked every night and weekends, so the new turf fields are generating income. I don’t know what the recovery time is on the investment, if ever, but the turf fields are well worth the money.

    When was the last time you saw anyone casually playing on the dirt field at hiawatha, now with the turf, there our many more people enjoying the new surface every day. Its actually a nice place to hang out with the kids now. Much better use of that beautiful open space. Can’t believe it was dirt for so long. And the maintenance us practically zero.

  • Bettytheyeti April 25, 2011 (9:31 pm)

    I agree “post signs that say littering $200 fine.” Then offer “help” with another sign that says; “if you brought here then pack out with you.” Re-cycle bins are a must. And yes, there are folks who are challenged by sorting their own garbage; and for them extra bins will be necessary.

  • Dizzle April 26, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    This is not the parks or the establishments problem. It’s a human problem. You buy a drink in a disposible cup, you are responsible for properly disposing/recycling of it!

    A couple of old sayings in backpacking are: “pack it in, pack it out” and “leave no trace”. How hard is it take your cup home and put it in your recycling?

    Oh wait, that takes effort….

  • Betty April 26, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    I agree with T-Rex, no amount of extra trash-cans is going to change the inherent personality traits of these non-WS people coming to enjoy the free sunshine and cruising opportunities. If they don’t care who sees their butt hanging out of their pants (seriously – I witnessed one guy drop-trou inside El Chupacabra for a laugh that day), then they’re certainly not going to care about picking up their water bottle/condom/sun tan lotion – etc.

    Extra “fine” signs might help discourage some, but it’s not going to solve the problem. Nothing is. Just realize that this is their human nature – not yours, and hope that nice volunteers and city workers get to the mess before it becomes an eyesore.

    People are always going to do stuff YOU wouldn’t do – that’s why we have jails full of criminals. There’s only so much we can do to change people’s natural behavior. If we could, there’d be a lot less crime, racism, prejudice, violence etc. in this world. I’m sure if they all lived here in nice cushy, upper-middle class West Seattle with their beautiful cottages and manicured lawns….they might respect it a little more, but my hunch is – most of the visitors are just that – visitors, who just don’t give a crap – and probably take a little pleasure in messing up your pretty lawn.

  • w.s. maverick April 27, 2011 (6:46 am)

    bigger trash cans would help the problem, but there are broken bottles all in the sand from people drinking beer on the beach

  • T-Rex April 27, 2011 (7:51 am)

    Well said Betty!

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