19 Stories

In 'Texas' Gift to the Nation,' a Big Ol' Mess

Park rangers remind public to clean up after photos show Big Bend National Park strewn with trash

(Newser) - On Saturday, rangers at Big Bend National Park, affectionately dubbed "Texas' Gift to the Nation," didn't find any gifts on a trail near the park's Panther Junction Visitor Center. Instead, the Houston Chronicle reports that they discovered piles of plastic bags, chip containers, soft drink cups,...

Crows Trade Butts—the Cigarette Kind—for Food

Sweden testing litter cleanup program

(Newser) - Some crows in Sweden will literally work for food now. A company based in suburban Stockholm is testing a program that sees trained crows pick up cigarette butts in the city in exchange for food, the Guardian reports. For each butt a crow places into a special machine, the bird...

PPE Litter Is Adding Up on the World's Beaches

Environmental groups fear damage, ask users to dispose of trash properly

(Newser) - To the usual list of foul trash left behind or washed up on beaches around the world, add these: masks and gloves used by people to avoid the coronavirus and then discarded on the sand. In the past year, volunteers picking up trash on beaches from the Jersey Shore to...

'Disgusting' New Trend Can Sicken People, Wildlife

People are littering the landscape with gloves, masks, and wipes used to fight coronavirus

(Newser) - From California and Texas to New Hampshire and New York , there's a "new, disgusting trend" cropping up around the coronavirus, and it's a potentially dangerous one. The Washington Post and other outlets report on the "small pops of color" suddenly showing up in parking lots, by...

Lovelorn Guy Gets Message About His Bottles: Stop Littering

Scottish widower was looking for love, found a lot of complaints about trashing beaches

(Newser) - When 49-year-old widower Craig Sullivan decided to dive back into the dating pool, he went with what he thought was a grand romantic gesture over swiping right on Tinder: The Scot took a week in mid-July and tossed 2,000 message-carrying bottles into waters around the United Kingdom, in the...

Leave No Trace? Not in the National Parks These Days

'What can we do as a culture to cut down on these occurrences?'

(Newser) - There's a growing number of vandalism citations at national parks in the US, and the Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado appears to be a top target. In a Facebook post, the park says its mission of educating and inspiring "this and future generations" through the "...

Simple Act of Littering Leads Police to Weapons Stash

2 people have been charged in Minneapolis

(Newser) - Minneapolis police say they've uncovered a stash of weapons and possible bomb-making materials—all because a resident saw people littering. Police say a man spotted two occupants of a parked car throwing food wrappers on the ground in north Minneapolis around 5pm Thursday, per Minnesota Public Radio . When the...

Darth Vader Is Cleaning Up Va. Roadsides

Luke, I am your litterbug-shamer

(Newser) - A Virginia man troubled by litter along the highway has decided it's time for the empire to strike back, reports the AP . Henry Wakley of Blacksburg on Thursday dressed as the Star Wars character Darth Vader while cleaning a stretch of highway that he "adopted" through the Adopt-a-Highway...

DC Cops Drop Littering Ticket —for Toddler

But it wasn't easy for 2-year-old Harper Westover

(Newser) - City officials in Washington are tearing up a littering citation issued to a toddler, reports the AP . Harper Westover, age 2, received a "Notice of Violation" Thursday from the Department of Public Works, reports the Washington Post , with a $75 fine. Her mom, attorney Theresa Westover, also received a...

Homeless Man Dumps 4 Tons of Trash in Forest

He's going to jail for 6 months as a result

(Newser) - Littering offenses typically don't result in jail sentences, but that changes when more than 4 tons of trash are involved. A 41-year-old homeless man got a six-month jail term this week after leaving about 8,500 pounds of debris around the living quarters he had set up in the...

Whale's Cause of Death: Swallowed DVD Case

Shard sliced endangered animal's stomach

(Newser) - A discarded DVD case is offering a brutal example of the effects our trash continues to have on marine wildlife. A young sei whale—a member of an endangered species—was found in a Chesapeake Bay tributary, seeming confused. Within days, it was found dead: It had been unable to...

Thanks, Humanity: Ocean Floor Is a Garbage Dump

Study of 32 ocean sites finds not one free of human litter

(Newser) - In the depths of European oceans, you'll find coral, sand—and old Heineken cans. Yup, human litter can be found even in the most far-reaching places on the planet, according to one of the biggest scientific surveys ever done of the seafloor. Using video and trawling surveys between 1999...

Everest to Climbers: Bring Back 18 Lbs. of Trash

Nepal 'will not compromise' on new rule

(Newser) - On your next trip to Mount Everest, you'll have to bring back a not-so-scenic souvenir: at least 18 pounds of trash. That's according to new rules from the Nepalese government, which is getting sick of junk—to the tune of some 50 tons over six decades—getting left...

In Chicago, Litterbugs Face Huge Fine, Impounded Cars

Drivers can pay as much as $1.5K

(Newser) - Chicago drivers who treat city streets as their personal trash can might be in for a rude surprise when a new law takes effect in a month: The city has raised the maximum fine for littering to $1,500 and given police the discretion to impound vehicles, reports the Chicago ...

Sherpas to Remove Bodies From Everest

High-altitude cleanup to begin in 'death zone'

(Newser) - A team of 20 Sherpa mountaineers plans to remove bodies of climbers who died in Mount Everest's "death zone," a treacherous stretch that has claimed some 300 lives since 1953. The team also aims to remove tons of garbage left behind on the slopes as part of a...

SF Smokers May Have to Cough Up for Butt Cleanup

Mayor proposes hefty tax hike to make smokers cover litter removal

(Newser) - San Francisco's mayor believes non-smokers shouldn't have to cover the costs of cleaning up cigarette butts, the New York Times reports. Gavin Newsom has proposed a 33-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes sold, which he says will cover the $10 million a year it costs to pick up after...

Time to Clean Up Space Trash
 Time to Clean Up Space Trash 

Time to Clean Up Space Trash

(Newser) - Space trash is becoming a serious problem, and it's long past time for housekeeping, writes the Economist. Of the 18,000 objects orbiting earth that are bigger than 4 inches across, only 900 are functioning satellites. The rest is debris, from old rocket parts and dead satellites to tools and...

Trash Fouls World's Beaches
 Trash Fouls World's Beaches 

Trash Fouls World's Beaches

Environmental group reports 6M tons picked up in one-day effort

(Newser) - One day of beach cleanup last year netted 6 million pounds of trash worldwide, an environmental group says. Volunteers in 76 countries collected an average of 182 pounds per mile of beach; the US weighed in at 390 pounds per mile, the AP reports. "We're the bad guys,"...

Buckle Up, Britons, or Submit DNA
Buckle Up, Britons, or Submit DNA

Buckle Up, Britons, or Submit DNA

New rules would let police take samples from scofflaws

(Newser) - Britain may give police the authority to take DNA samples from anyone stopped for a minor crime, such as littering, speeding or not wearing a seat belt, the Guardian reports. And they'll be able to do so right on the street—without going to the police station, if the Home...

19 Stories