Bill Bryson on "Fly-Tipping"


Only author Bill Bryson could write such a paean against littering (or "fly-tipping" as they evidently call it over in the UK) :

Nowhere in the world is there a landscape more lovely to behold, more comfortable to be in, more artfully worked, more visited and walked across and gazed upon than the countryside of England. It is a glorious achievement and much too lovely to trash.

That is why he is leading a Campaign to Protect Rural England to clean it up. He must of learned about the Broken Window theory while living in America, for he writes:
"Litter breeds more litter. That is a simple, immutable fact. Clean environments tend to stay clean; dirty ones always get dirtier. If a local authority allows rubbish to pile up along its roadsides, the message it sends to people driving past is: "Go ahead and drop some more. We don't care about our corner of England. Why should you?"

A key component of his plan is a deposit return system, suggesting that it would not only encourage recycling and discourage random discarding, but also give litter a value, which makes it attractive as a revenue source for Scouts, church groups, homeless people and a wholesomely wide range of others. (this is true, when deposits on wine and liquor bottles came to Ontario this year, it created an industry and income for the homeless.)

All we want, after all, is to make Britain's countryside what it was almost everywhere until very recently and what most of us still want it to be - a place of beauty, delight and sometimes utter perfection. We may not entirely succeed, but at least we'll try. The real worry with litter, it seems to me, is not those who drop it, but the millions who look at it and do nothing.

::Times Online

At TreeHugger, we say "Recycling on the taxpayers nickel as we do it now not the answer, it is time for producer responsibility and zero waste. Put a deposit on everything from automobiles to small appliances to hamburger clamshells to water bottles to coffee cups and see how much less garbage we have about." ::It's Time for Deposits. On Everything.

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