When you live in a reasonably large city like Sydney (4.34 million people and counting) you get used to a lot of things that people from less densely populated areas would probably find unpalatable. Things like reckless driving, overcrowded public transport, pollution, impatient attitudes, lack of consideration. Sadly, these things and many others are becoming the norm in urban environments.
There is one thing above all that gets on my goat. Every day I can’t stand it more and more. It drives me completely bonkers. That thing is other people’s garbage.
It’s everywhere. On the pavement. In the gutter. In the parks. In the waterways. Plastic bottles. Cigarette butts. Chocolate bar wrappers. It goes on and on and on. It amazes me constantly how easy it is for people just to drop their rubbish and move on. Without a second thought.
To compound this problem I have with other people’s garbage I have a laneway at the back of my house which is frequently the dumping ground for all sorts of broken, useless, filthy items. It makes me angry when people leave stuff in the back lane because not only are they not being responsible for the proper disposal of that item, they are not taking into account the impact their dump may have on other people.
On Friday afternoon someone dumped approximately thirty litres of used motor oil in the back lane. It started at the back of my house and ran all the way down to the cross street. The smell was acrid and pungent, made worse by the fact that it was 33 degrees C with a hot wind.
I fell ill on Friday afternoon with a severe headache, blurred vision, nausea and an upset stomach. I didn’t realise straight away that the oil had been dumped or that it was making me sick. It was only when I got so bad that I had to call a doctor out that he alerted me to the funny smell at the back of the house.
The Council came and cleared it all up. They use detergent and absorbent sand to get rid of the residue. They will be doing an investigation because dumping oil is a serious offence which attracts a huge fine. I hope they find out who did it because I would like that person to know how sick he or she made me. I was in bed all weekend. Three days later I still feel slightly unwell.
One of my neighbours also fell ill. Another lady was walking her dog and he became ill after trying to lick the oil off his paws.
What I don’t understand is why someone would do something like that in a residential area. The Council offers free pick up and disposal of any type of oil, why would someone feel the need to just pour it into the street?
Sometimes the actions of others are simply inexplicable.