The first real day of Spring in Ypsilanti… the cigarette butts are coming up

Today was an absolutely beautiful day in Ypsilanti. I spent most of the day working in the yard with Clementine, raking leaves, burning up twigs, and planting kale. We did, however, find the time to take a few long walks around town, talking with folks, and snapping photos. While we got quite a few shots of brightly colored flowers pushing their way up from the thawing earth, my favorite photo of the day was this one, taken of a large planter in front of the Tap Room.

Given that the snow just melted away, I’ll reserve my criticism for the time being. I do seem to recall, however, that these planters were better maintained in years past. Of course, I’m pretty sure, back then, we employed a person to look after them.

[This post is brought you by Ypsi Pride Day… It’s not until May 19, but nothing’s stopping you from practicing a little between now and then by filling up a bag or two of trash.]

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  1. Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    I’ll actually defend the butts (though not the packs). It’s not necessarily safe to throw butts in a trashcan, so unless there’s a butt receptacle nearby, the options are to throw it in a trashcan and potentially start a fire, throw it on the ground, or throw it in the planter. For the butts, this is probably the best option.

  2. Edward
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    What happened to that guy who used to take care of the plants in the planters? Was his name Ezell, or something like that? He was a nice guy.

  3. Anonymatt
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze me that people who would never otherwise litter don’t think twice before throwing cigarette butts on the ground. I agree with cmadler that using a planter is a step up, as long as the planter currently has no plants.

  4. Knox
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    When cities no longer have the resources to maintain planters, they should either sell them off, or, better yet, the business owners most proximate to them should step up and take responsibility. The Tap Room is successful enough that they could, if they wanted, buy a few plants and send out a staff person every now and then to make sure it’s not full of garbage.

  5. Knox
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I hope it’s not the case, but, as soon as I hit “post comment” it occurred to me that this could be just one day’s worth of butts. Given the number of them, I don’t imagine that’s the case, but it’s possible. And, if that’s the case, maybe the owners of the Tap Room really do clean it out every day or two.

  6. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    and no worries about Ypsi’s resources for beautifying and such, the TIFs will cover that for 20 years to come.

  7. Eel
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Someone should author an Empty Planter Theory (or Planter Full of Trash Theory) to rival the Broken Window Theory.

  8. Mr. X
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    It would be cool to plant a tobacco plant right in the middle of it.

  9. John Galt
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    You see garbage. I see freedom. This is a beautiful expression of unregulated self interest. Better than flowers any day.

  10. Aaron
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Ypsilanti paid a person to do that?

    Why not just have some volunteer groups do it. Jackson, MI does, and it’s 1000x’s more boring than Ypsi.

  11. Edward
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I think we do have volunteer groups doing it now. The only problem is, they’re not doing it. And the guy who was paid, wasn’t paid much. I talked with him a few times and he was lugging supplies around. I believe he may have also been a groundskeeper at WCC. I’m not sure who paid him, but my impression was that that he was compensated. It used to make me happy seeing him tending to the plants downtown.

  12. Jordan Miller
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I like that you can see who the regulars are.

  13. Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    There is a recently incorporated non-profit run by EMU students who intend to place not only “butt receptacles” but specifically, butt-recyclers. As they are 95% plastic, there are multiple companies that will purchase them by the pound for recycling. In addition to placing butt collectors for recycling, the group will also clean up the street area around the business. Coming soon to a bar near you!!

  14. Mr. Y
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    We could create a master race if we could only isolate the DNA from those butts and fire up a cloning factory on Water Street.

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