By Charles Sercombe
Now that most of the snow has finally melted away, something ugly has popped up all over town.
Yes, the hidden litter build-up happens in every city, but Hamtramck seems to have a worse case of it. No matter what time of the year, litter is a problem here.
And we’re not talking just about the main streets. Walk down any side street and you’ll be amazed at the amount of loose trash that has collected on the streets and in yards.
Although it’s several weeks away, the annual citywide Spring Clean Sweep will take place on May 17. You can find out more about the event at the Hamtramck Beautification Commission’s Facebook page, or by calling (313) 312-4045.
While litter is an eyesore, it’s also interesting to see what pops up. For example, in the city parking lot on Caniff and McDougall, we found a 10-pound bag of Chicken parts.
And you wonder why we have rats here.
A few feet over on an almost melted snow bank was the usual booze bottle, but framed with someone’s socks. Now that must have been some party.
Of course there are all manners of plastic items and wrappers, and stuff lazy people just throw on the street when they’re done with them.
Who are these litterers?
As you would guess, there’s a government study about that, which we found on the Internet.
According to a study for Keep America Beautiful, it’s young males between the ages 11 and 24 who are the prime culprits. However, that study doesn’t address the issue of: Why?
People litter, again according to Keep America Beautiful, because they don’t have a sense of personal ownership of the property they litter on.
And that includes parks and beaches.
They also think that it doesn’t matter because someone else will clean up their mess.
While litter may seem like a small thing, it can lead to bigger cases of blight.
Hamtramck also has another unique angle when it comes to junk on the street: chairs and crates used to reserve parking in winter.
It’s probably a pretty good guess that we are done with experiencing a sizable snowfall.
With that in mind, Kathy Angerer, the Director of Community & Economic Development, says the city will begin to collect the chairs and crates within the next week if they are not removed.
April 1, 2014 at 11:54 am
I’ve always thought that the practice of saving parking spots with lawn chairs and milk crates makes Hamtramck a laughing stock.
Admittedly, on some streets parking can get scarce, and you may find yourself having to park halfway down the block at times. That’s just life in the big city, folks! Don’t steal public property (the street) for your own private use. I suspect the people who do this would be the same sort who game any system for their advantage, even if it means stepping on everyone else. The “reserved” spots in front of their houses should tell neighbors who will be of no use in a public emergency, such as a tornado; these people are in it only for themselves and will step in front of you in the bread line.
Additionally, this practice just makes a bad situation worse for the majority, as legitimate parking spots are tied up unused all day. Not to mention that anytime someone claims something as their property, there’s an implied threat that they will defend possession of that property. This makes driving though Hamtramck seem unfriendly and hostile. “Git off my property or I’ll fill you full of buckshot!”
Your March 28 article “Winter’s hidden secret is now exposed and waiting to be cleaned up” stated that the director of Community & Economic Development said the city will begin to collect the chairs and crates within the next week if they are not removed. On the one hand, that’s great. But on the other hand, why would the city wait until the end of winter to make Hamtramck streets better? Doesn’t waiting until winter is over give tacit city approval for the offensive practice? Can we set course now to get this right next winter, maybe getting the city attorney and chief of police to weigh in?