You would not believe what I saw…

Slight delay in updating this as we had a few days away in Manchester.  Anyway, I can tell you really need to know what I saw.  Actually, it’s what I see pretty much every time I’m out on the roads and lanes of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, but it continues to baffle me.

There are tons of rubbish on the roadside verges and in the ditches and hedgerows.

Yes, and the Pope is indeed Catholic and bears like nothing better than a hefty dump in the woods.  Well done, me.

Still with me?  Okay, the really baffling part is that a massive amount of the waste I see is empty beer cans; not just ordinary beer cans, but beer cans which had previously been home to high strength beers or ciders.  Even more amazing is that said cans are usually miles from anywhere, on lanes some miles from major routes or thoroughfares, so how do they get there?  Sure, paper or polythene items get carried on the wind, but aluminium cans don’t usually scud across the fields round these parts.  On one ride I counted 27 beer cans, all of the same brand, in a stretch of less than one mile.  It is astonishing.  Pretty dull, yes, but still astonishing.

Surely the cans must be coming from vehicles?  A dangerous assumption, I know.  I suppose they could be coming from cyclists or horse riders, but the sheer number and the remarkable spread of the items would render this unlikely.  Yes, many cyclists will cast used banana wrappers into the countryside, but beer cans don’t tend to come in a naturally biodegradable format, nor are the contents especially appropriate for training purposes.  So, where are the vehicles going or where have they been?  Who is driving them and who are the passengers?  When do they pass along these roads?  I’m genuinely mystified.

This got me thinking.  I wonder what is the scrap value of a typical aluminium beer can, because, if I were to estimate the numbers I see and apply this across the lanes of our land, there must be thousands of tons just lying around.  Of course, on the more major routes, it’s not uncommon to see workers risking life and limb on litter picking duties, but this simply does not happen on the minor roads.  As a result, all of this crap will continue to pile up for years to come, until eventually someone will take notice and do something about it.

Well, there it is folks.  Shit is happening on our roads, every day.  People are abusing the lanes, and those of us who frequent the lanes, with their thoughtless actions.  Every day this is happening out of sight of the masses.  I’m willing to bet that most of you will not have seen this, but I can assure you that it is real and that nobody is doing anything to address the issue.

This sounds rather familiar.

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