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Do you litter?  

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  1. 1. Do you litter?

    • Yes, I often do.
      2
    • Only occasionally (for example when there's no litter bin around)
      5
    • Never!
      22
    • Never! I even tell other people not to do it.
      16


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Every morning since a few days ago I go out of my apartment relatively happy, I get on the bus, I see all the litter inside it, I get angry, I consider posting this poll to inquire about people's habits, then I decide to post it later when I'm not feeling angry, so I don't write things I will later regret. But during the day I always walk around a lot, so there is no way that I'm going to be calm enough on a normal day. Luckily today I have not gone out yet, so I'm still happy :) Please answer the poll!!

 

I am not necessarily looking to understand why this happens, as I know it has been discussed many times before. I find most other cities I've been to a lot cleaner than Montreal. I know some of them are dirtier in some aspects (Toronto, for example, appears to be home to a crazy amount of careless litterbugs), but I have not had to walk on piles of newspapers inside a bus shelter (see, for example, Plamondon and surroundings) anywhere else in the world, even when I don't remain within city centers.

 

Sometimes I feel I'm too obsessive about litter, but then I hear friends complain about how "people from here are so dirty" (I do not share these generalizations!) while looking at the ground or at newspapers flying around, and then praising other cities like Vancouver, Columbus, San Francisco or Houston while on conferences. Most of the friends who complain are professionals from South America, some of them visiting Montreal under my recommendation. Educated Latin Americans tend to be very vocal about these things, so I guess other friends have similar thoughts but do not say anything.

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I never litter.

 

Seules fois où on peut considérer que je litter, c'est dans le métro. Mais moi je dis que je passe au suivant en fait.

 

Quand je suis assis avec rien à faire et qu'il y a un journal sur le siège vacant à côté de moi, je vais le prendre, le lire, et le remettre là pour la prochaine personne. Voilà, simplement.

 

Sinon, les poubelles et les bacs de recyclage sont mes amis.

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I have nothing against those who pick up the newspaper and then put it back on the seat. However, I hardly understand those who put it there in the first place. Maybe they think they are doing good by letting others read it later, but I doubt that's often the reason. In any case, I really hate the people who leave stuff like food containers, or even food in wagons and buses. It appears to me that most of them are high school kids, but I have seen adults doing it too, and I always say or do something about it.

 

This city needs more people who say something when others litter and vandalize. It needs tougher consequences too. Smokers litter in front of their office buildings (I would be happy to fire anyone who does this), and students do it freely in their universities (fail them or something... jk). Littering is pretty much legal, normal, and accepted in Montreal, apparently under the idea that police and security guards have other more important things to worry about. Yet if there is ANY city where security people can take some time to care about their workplace, it is Montreal.

 

This horribly demotivating problem will only be solved when someone who cares about this becomes the mayor and gets really creative, like it has happened successfully in other cities. But for that voters need to care first, which won't happen because most voters live inside a car. So the cycle will continue, these eyesores will mean slower central development and investment, more sprawl, and consequently more voters living in their cars.

 

I think Montreal is a really beautiful city, and what really bothers me is not that it is dirtier than some other cities (I don't really think comparing cities makes much sense in this case because there are too many factors). What bothers me is how easily it could be much much cleaner, and the effect this would have in its development (I have read several cases of honest investors being scared away by eyesores like graffiti and garbage).

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Dans ma rue, les automobilistes prennent notre trottoir comme poubelle. Ils ouvrent leur porte et déposent leurs déchets, des verres de café le plus souvent. J'me demande ce qui se passe dans leur tête pour faire ça. C'est parce que c'est le centre-ville pis tout est permis ici? C'est parce qu'y a pas beaucoup de piétons dans ma rue et qu'ils se font pas voir?

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...

 

This city needs more people who say something when others litter and vandalize. It needs tougher consequences too. Smokers litter in front of their office buildings (I would be happy to fire anyone who does this), and students do it freely in their universities (fail them or something... jk). Littering is pretty much legal, normal, and accepted in Montreal, apparently under the idea that police and security guards have other more important things to worry about. Yet if there is ANY city where security people can take some time to care about their workplace, it is Montreal.

...

 

Je suis 100% d'accord avec toi, mais ça, c'est un problème de société.

 

Nous sommes des autruches. Je ne sais pas si c'est différent ailleurs dans le monde, mais souvent, lorsque je vois un jeune tagger un mur de métro, cracher par terre, jeter ses choses, etc. Les gens autour, y compris moi(!) détournent le regard au lieu de réprimander, ce qui aurait un effet assez dissuasif.

 

Un fois dans le métro, un jeune cracha par terre devant moi et une dame lui demanda s'il crachait par terre chez lui. Il dit non et elle répondit ben crache pas dans le métro alors. Très belle intervention, j'étais fier de la madame.

 

Imaginons maintenant qu'une personne jette un papier par terre et qu'immédiatement toutes les personnes autour de lui le pointe du doigt et crient NON!

L'effet serait assez percutant je crois.

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Imaginons maintenant qu'une personne jette un papier par terre et qu'immédiatement toutes les personnes autour de lui le pointe du doigt et crient NON!

L'effet serait assez percutant je crois.

 

This would definitely work! I was in Vancouver a couple of years ago riding my bicycle in the park, when I started texting my friend while riding slowly, still on the path. Immediately at least three separate people shouted something about what I was doing. I stopped and will never do that again (at least not in Vancouver). What I was doing was probably worse than littering, so I was being as much an idiot as people who litter, yet I learned my lesson.

 

It would be interesting to have a litterbug's point of view on the subject. I am surrounded by relatively smart people, so I have never seen a friend of mine litter :) Maybe the person who answered the poll above affirmatively (if it was not a mistake) can let us know of his/her reasons to uglify the city.

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I never FUC..... litter! I find that deplorable.

 

Des fois je met mon coeur de pomme dans la terre sous un arbre. Mais ça fait du compost. C'est pas négatif. That's it.

 

Je suis d'accord, on devrait leur dire non à tous ces cons qui garrochent leurs détritus sur le trottoir.:thumbsdown:

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Il y a plusieurs raisons qui mènent à la négligence et la malpropreté des rues et des transports en commun. Une des plus importantes: l'individualisme à outrance, développé comme une normalité dans notre société. On oublie tout esprit civique en se disant que quelqu'un est payé pour ramasser nos déchets, donc on les abandonnent là où ils ont terminé leur usage. C'est donc une question de conscience collective reliée à la vie en société, où chacun devient un peu le prolongement de l'autre en partageant les mêmes espaces publics. Tant qu'on oubliera que notre bien-être n'est pas séparé de celui d'autrui, on continuera d'agir insensiblement à la qualité de l'environnement et c'est tout le monde qui en souffrira.

 

Combien de fois j'ai ramassé des journaux ou autres objets à l'extérieur ou dans un bus ou métro, pour les mettre au recyclage ou dans une poubelle? Impossible pour moi d'ignorer le problème. Bien sûr je ne passe pas ma journée à le faire, mais si chacun faisait un petit effort il y aurait vite une amélioration à ce niveau. De toute façon un endroit sale invite à plus de saleté, c'est comme les graffitis, plus il y en a plus on en rajoute. Il faut donc faire notre part par des gestes individuels gratuits au nom du bien-être commun, en espérant que d'autres se réveilleront un peu en faisant plus que de simplement se plaindre de la malpropreté d'autrui.

 

Les autorités ont aussi une grande part de responsabilité en laissant faire les comportements de cette nature, une amende est un rappel à l'ordre qui a un pouvoir de conviction. Mais une amende ne peut être justifiée que s'il y a suffisamment de place pour les déchets, donc il faut des poubelles et des bacs en quantité suffisante pour suffire au besoin. Pareil pour les collectes publiques, des bacs bien pensés qui retiendront les papiers et autres objets par tout temps, est nécessaire pour prévenir justement cette situation qui continue malheureusement de se détériorer, par l'usage d'outils inadaptés ou trop petits, dans certains quartiers de la ville notamment.

 

Pourquoi ne pas diffuser dans les endroits publics comme dans les transports en commun, un slogan du genre: "la propreté est l'affaire de tous". Sans être paternaliste, il faut bien intervenir publiquement et suggérer fortement les comportements souhaitables, puisque les gens ne le font plus naturellement. C'est une caractéristique de notre société dite "moderne" qui a bien perdu de son sens commun, on revendique haut et fort nos droits, mais on oublie si souvent la contrepartie: nos devoirs et responsabilités.

 

En conclusion avant de se plaindre de la malpropreté des lieux publiques, demandons-nous si on n'y participa pas un peu nous-mêmes? En ignorant les détritus sur notre passage, on contribue soi-même par défaut au maintien de la situation.

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...En ignorant les détritus sur notre passage, on contribue soi-même par défaut au maintien de la situation....

I agree with every word you say, specially this.

 

This picture is what I meant when I compared Montreal to the rest of the world. I would say at least 1/4 of Montreal's bus shelters look like this, and at least 9 out of 10 have litter on them.

 

garbage.jpg

 

I lived in a not-so-good area of Caracas for several years, and there is litter there in most places, but there is nothing like this in a bus shelter, or near the metro, and never near ground floor stores. And no, you don't get shot in Caracas for littering. Police doesn't care, just like they don't care here.

 

I tried to find something like this from some other city, but I couldn't. Here is the worst I found on Google images:

 

http://i.thestar.com/images/20/c4/259e680c4cd7b98f95e85b333c9c.jpeg (Toronto)

http://www.yourworldtoday.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/front-right-corner.jpg (Toronto?)

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2059/2245289836_3f6748f57c.jpg (Not sure)

 

I try to tell myself there are worse bus shelters around the world, but I find no proof. And I'm sure that even if someone finds an image, it will be because there was some kind of event or because the neighbourhood is too dangerous for cleaning crews. But this is Montreal, Canada! Many professionals come here from around the world expecting a very clean city. I don't know the statistics, but I am sure many of them leave because they cannot stand seeing things like this every day (at least one person I know is choosing another city because of this).

 

I am sorry for this rant but I feel the need to say what this great city could improve the most on. Anyway, I will clean this bus shelter as soon as I find the time to buy the implements. It will probably stay relatively clean for about a week. I don't care if the STM doesn't want me to do it. There is no way they will fine or prosecute me if they don't do it to litterbugs.

 

Question: Is there any private service which will clean a public place for a fee?

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I agree with every word you say, specially this.

 

 

I am sorry for this rant but I feel the need to say what this great city could improve the most on. Anyway, I will clean this bus shelter as soon as I find the time to buy the implements. It will probably stay relatively clean for about a week. I don't care if the STM doesn't want me to do it. There is no way they will fine or prosecute me if they don't do it to litterbugs.

 

Question: Is there any private service which will clean a public place for a fee?

 

Hey good idea, and if ever you were prosecuted, that would create a first in Montréal and certainly wake up the city and the medias.

 

En fait je te recommanderais d'appeler les principaux journaux locaux de Montréal et les convoquer à ta séance de nettoyage. Les journaux sont friands de ce genre d'événements anodins mais qui a du punch au niveau de l'image. Je ne serais pas surpris qu'à partir de cette action tu trouves beaucoup de gens derrière toi et qu'un réveil se fasse un peu partout dans la ville.

 

I am very serious in my advise and if you feel intimidated, get someone with you. What's important is to set a point and put the emphasise on the poor image the city gives to it's population and visitors. Do not hesitate to do so and good luck, you could be surprised by the results.

 

If you could contact Amir Khadir and ask him to be present, that could also add more credibility to your gesture, he is a good shit disturber for a good cause.

 

Je le ferais moi-même si je pouvais, mais j'habite maintenant dans Charlevoix et à mon avis il est préférable d'avoir un véritable résident de Montréal qui prend ses responsabilités civiques au sérieux. Un véritable coup médiatique qui pourrait donner le bon exemple et même faire des émules dans le monde. Ne négligeons pas non plus le pouvoir de Youtube, c'est un excellent outil directement en concurrence avec les journaux, et les journaux voudraient certainement conserver le "scoop" en premier.

 

En fait pourquoi pas une équipe de MTLURB, clairement identifiée, qui se veut justement un site exemplaire en tant que citoyen "corporatif", sensible au mieux-être de la ville? Ce serai une super publicité pour le forum, qui pourrait ouvrir potentiellement plusieurs portes, et pas seulement dans les médias.

 

Histoire définitivement à suivre...

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