Just a few days ago, I was passing through a major intersection near my house and was making a turn from the right turn lane. Now, this is one of those intersections that is frequently passed and is basically 1 block away from the freeway. So, needless to say, there is a lot of traffic and there are lots of turn lanes and turn arrows etc. Not very pedestrian friendly. Well, I was making a right and had to wait for traffic before I could make my turn onto the main drag when I noticed this Poor lonesome drink cup from Taxi's Hamburgers (overpriced BTW) just sitting in the pedestrian standing area between the turn lane and the straight traffic lane. It occurred to me that someone had to actually be standing there sipping their drink. Say to themselves, "I don't really want this anymore." Notice there was not a waste basket within the three foot radius around them, bend down and carefully set this poor unwanted beverage cup down on the ground in the middle of this busy intersection.
Well, I couldn't resist. I had to use my camera phone to take a picture of the beverage cup for all you GreenGaggle readers. Photo Uploading Soon. Lets consider this person. We're in suburban Atlanta where everyone drives. I mean EVERYONE. So, this person had walked to Taxi's to get a hamburger and drink and was walking back. I can only assume that this person doesn't have a car because if you have a car, you have to take it to lunch in Atlanta. Now, if this person doesn't have a car in Atlanta, why don't they have a car in Atlanta. Only two reasons, either they can't afford it or their car is in the shop. We'll assume the former. Now, if they can't afford a car, what are they doing in an affluent area of Atlanta? Working of course. Now, the only people who would be sans car working in Alpharetta would likely be taking the bus.
Okay, this person can't afford a car, is taking the bus to work, and walking to lunch. Do you see where I'm going? Well.. If you've ever seen the menu at Taxi's hamburgers you should see exactly where I'm going. WTF is someone who is probably barely making minimum wage buying what would be almost a $10 lunch from a so called "premium" hamburger stand? They are paying $1.75 each way for MARTA fare and $10 for lunch. That comes to $13.50 for that day. Assume they are making $8.00/hr at Kinko's makin copies working 8 hours a day. That's $64 before tax. Lets assume they are getting about 15% taken out by FICO SS and all that crap. That leaves them with about $54. They are spending almost 20% on lunch! No wonder they can't afford a car!
Hold on, that wasn't my point. Back to the issue at hand. I wondered how many abandoned beverage cups are out there and how many are so lucky to be discarded by their former owners in such a humane way. There must be many more that are given the toss out the window, get kicked around in the street, get run over and smooshed by a gas guzzling SUV or just drift away to be lost forever in a suburban run-off pond. I assume the little cup will sit there in peril until a storm or wind event comes to either wash or blow it away. This was two days ago and I saw it still sitting there on my way back to the office from lunch. Just FYI, over 38 Billion, that's 38,000,000,000, recyclable beverage containers have been landfilled, littered, or incinerated thus far in 2005. Links http://www.cri.org/ Container Recycling Institute