Image from author.
America hates seeing trash everywhere. We’ve all seen litter and even if it is illegal everyone still does it. Spitting out gum or tossing a wrapper you didn’t feel like throwing away might be easy to justify, but what about bigger things like furniture?
I found a bunch of unused plastic boxes in my garage that I wasn’t planning on using, so I left them on the street for someone who would. But my neighbor hated how it looked. He barked at me, saying that I was disrespectful and not taking care of the community. Then two other men joined in on the argument: one defended me and the other told me that I had to help out my community. After that lovely interaction, I questioned whether dumping things on the side of the road was actually useful.
It is useful. I don’t care if it looks ugly, or if it ruins your idea of a picture perfect society, but dumping things on the side of the road can help out. When you’re done using something, who knows who may need it, and leaving it on the road might help them. I have seen people picking up a chair off the street. I, myself, repaired a lamp I found on the street. It’s a community’s way of sharing things.
When you put something useful on the street, and someone else takes it, it’s recycling. Instead of filling up landfills, people will clean and reuse things for free. Stuff on the road does not look pretty, it may not look appealing to you, but for someone else it will bring them joy.
Yeah, it’s not exactly “legal,” but as long as it doesn’t stay there forever, what’s the harm? Just don’t get caught because the fine for dumping could be $1,000 to 3,000.
Of course dumping broken things, or radioactive waste, is bad for the environment and the community. However, if it’s something useful then put it on the curb: someone who can’t afford it will appreciate it being there.
Once my neighbor calmed down, he told me it’s fine to leave things there, but if it hasn’t been picked up in two to three weeks, I had to dump it. If you see that something you put on the road is still there after a few weeks, take responsibility and throw it away. This way the curb can have room for things people need.
My neighbor was furious because to him, I was disrespecting my community, but the same day I left those boxes someone took them. Those boxes were useful to someone. So I’d like to think that I did help my community.
Sahar Naqvi is a freshman at WHS, and this is in her first year at the Hatchet. She was born in Texas, but grew up in San Ramon, California, Sahar now lives in Fremont. She enjoys writing stories and expressing herself through poems. She’s been writing stories since second grade and was encouraged by her teachers. She wrote her first poem during the lockdown at ten years old. Sahar looks forward to writing articles about anything. She plans on studying whatever she feels like, and dreams of becoming a successful author. Her work is inspired by her favorite author, Roald Dahl.