I don't like to use the word hate very often, but I hate litter. When I see garbage on the ground I am miffed at both individuals and our society. Individuals could obviously do a better job of "keeping litter in its place," however as a society we seem all too happy to support corporations that produce single use products or wrap things in massive amounts of packaging.
Reader Jason also hates litter and decided to try and do something about it, while riding his bike. A description of his hack, and thoughts on testing it, are below. Fight the good fight Jason.
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I hate litter. I really hate litter. Memphis has plenty of it. I decided to create an object that allows me to pick up garbage without stopping.
This is a mini project that I would like to see catch on; it would improve the reputation of cyclists and make your community a better place.
This is a 15 - 30 min project (tops)
All you need is a simple wooden dowel (I used a plunger handle), a wire coat hanger (or some type of sturdy wire), and any other niceties that you would prefer.
I cut the coat hanger at the base of the hook so as to have a screw-like end to insert into the dowel. After drilling a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of said hook, I applied a liberal amount of JB Weld to the twisted wire (for space filling/more secure mounting) and screwed it into the hole.
To make the thing pretty and more ergonomic, I applied some raggedy old handlebar tape on the end.
Paint it, make it sparkly, add flames, make it into a halberd-style death wand (keep it out of sight of the law :-P). Go Wild.
My plan is to mount it to my backpack He-Man style - now all I need to worry about is a receptacle for the trash! :-)
This is as-yet untested, but unless someone starts bolting Kevlar trash bag decoys to the ground, I can't see how this can fail.
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Follow up note after testing - I took the thing on a ride, and I quickly discovered that my design is only applicable for when people throw whole plastic bags of trash out - say, from Taco Bell, or other bags of the shopping-size variety. Granted, Memphis in particular is inundated with a cultural mentality that finds this an acceptable practice, so there is use.
I think my next iteration will use a nail - kind of like the trash poles you see in movies, maybe with a hook on the side as well (along the halberd idea). Also, a plunger handle is not nearly long enough, unless you are using the drop bars. once i rig a proper mount and receptacle, I shall forward those along too.