View Full Version : Litter.... oh man.

10-02-2000, 11:27 PM
Hey all ...

I've noticed this one ALOT and it really shows what kind of a job other lawncutters really do ... How many people out there ACTUALLY pick up the trash on the lawn before you cut? You can spend a boatload of time picking up all the garbage but it REALLY makes a huge difference in the final looks of it. Or, do you just pick up the BIG pieces and cut over the small (like cigarette butts and such)? Or, do you say "Who cares?!" and just cut over everything? OR ....... do you just aim ALL of the trash into the road and let the cars 'clean up' for you? Or, ... are you one of the lucky VERY few who don't have to deal with litter on a daily basis?


10-02-2000, 11:51 PM
It depends on the customer. Commerical residential. I hate picking up trash but always pick up large stuff. I usually cut around most things.

10-02-2000, 11:54 PM
Litter, trash, etc, is why I declined to renew the contract for the local Sonic drive in. We spent more time policing the grounds than maintaining them. We also had a daycare that was four houses next to each other on one block. There was more trash than you could imagine to pick up weekly. I could had charged extra and kept the accounts but I am in the turf management business and not sanitation work. We walk the grounds before mowing and keep the mesh handlebar trash bags on all walk behinds. This keeps us from stopping and going to the truck every time the pockets get full!

10-03-2000, 12:00 AM
Hey Stringer, what kind of $$$ does the sonic pay? I have the chance to get a local one here. you can email me.


10-03-2000, 12:11 AM
hey i pick up trash i do a pizzia place and the ground are sournded with a bufern moslty asphalt,a chruch i do 2.0 acres and corner of a 5 lane highway lots of debris but i only pick up large peices that i don't want my walker handing, it will pick up smoke butts,not to much trash on any other account i guess i am lucky, i would factor in
man hrs on just picking up trash no equiptment running that's making money ,in fact i would pick up trash all day for ..oh lets see $35.00 be making some decent money with little investment.

10-03-2000, 12:19 AM
We used to do a Publix supermarket in Miami. It took as long to pick up the trash as it did to do the maint. Couldn't stand that job.

Eric E.
10-03-2000, 12:23 AM
A friend of mine worked for a public housing place. They would post that thrusday was mowing day, rain or shine. The lawn was cut with a big gang mower. His boss told him not to get off the machine, "just mow everything!". He mowed toys, trash, beach towels, everything. His favorite was the beach chairs though.

10-03-2000, 02:13 AM
My guys pick up everything in the way.It makes for a professional job which is what we are out there for. If you don't want to deal with it give it up and let the green industry stay professional.If there is alot of trash charge for it and let the customer know why. They will either pay or clean up there place. We are working our butts off tring to gain respect for our industry and mowing over trash is not the way to do it.

10-03-2000, 02:21 AM
We do a Ponderosa here in town, & it's next to a Taco Bell. I swear they are the laziest bunch of humans there are. EVERY time I mow, taco bell wrappers & sauce packets, & crap people throw out the window as they're in line for the drive thru blow into our lot. I've seen people throw junk out the window in line & I pick it up & give it back to them! They don't quite know how to take that. People are friggin LAZY! The teenagers are the worst. They think the rest of the world will pick up after them.

10-03-2000, 02:32 AM
I hate the plastic wrap. Always winds around spindles. Tissue paper, paper napkins ect. get chomped up !

10-03-2000, 08:21 AM
I get the big stuff and get really mad when I miss something like paper napkins from the restaurant next door. They usually come in bunches and boy do they make a mess that impossible to clean up.
I try not to stick the nose of the Walker into places I cant see.

10-03-2000, 08:42 AM
Smitty, good for you. This reminds me when I was a kid. We were in trafic at a red light. The guy in front of us tosses out his McDonalds trash. My dad jumps out,picks the stuff up and tosses it in the guys lap. He says(you droped somthing).
This was a long time ago, before road rage and drive by shootings.
I guess i've been living in a bubble down here in south Fla. Sounds like the plague that has these people has spread.

10-03-2000, 10:29 AM
I clean rubbish from the garden beds on the sub divisions
that I do.All the turfed areas I just run the Walker GHS over and it picks everything up. Dog sh*t is the worst though.If I'm not paying attention it makes a mess out of the hopper. :)


10-03-2000, 10:47 AM
Our worst litter spot is a large supper club type restaurant located right in the middle of a busy commercial area we refer to as "hamburgar alley". Nothing but McDonalds cups, straw wrappers, ketchup packets,etc.. We usea 5 gallon buckets and sharpened pitchforks and I find that works the best- hardly any bending over, just quick jabs. Once the fork gets kind of full, you just plunge it downinto the bucket, stick your foot in and pull the fork out- cleans it right off. If you have alot, try it sometime.

10-03-2000, 08:23 PM
I have commerical properties near resturants. They are terrible for trash. I complain to myself, but pick it up because I can't see running over it. I see some lawn companies running over trash and it looks terrible. As far as residentals go I believe the homeowner should keep their yard clean because it's the right thing to do. If a yard is a mess I tell them it will cost them more if I have to cleanup before I mow. Most of them will cleanup, some won't. We are in the lawn business not sanitation business!

10-03-2000, 08:23 PM
TACO BELL!!! OH MAN!! They ARE the worst!! We used to mow a nursery that was directly next to a taco bell.. MAN! Napkins, straws, cups, straw wrappers, bags .. you name, it said "Taco Bell" and it was on our grass! What a pain! I think there should be a littering law instituted to circumvent the problem with the fast food industry! EVERY piece of litter found with a companies on it should cost that company $50! Then, that cash should go towards cleaning up the street! Litter really irritates me!


To this day, we still pick up ALL trash before mowing .. We have made it a part of the edgers job (and the mowers') .. While edging (or just before), he picks up the crap thrown out by the people who can't find a trash can. Maybe they're ignorant to the results of throwing useless junk out their car window! Or, maybe they're just lazy and cannot take the time to simply "put litter in it's place".

In ANY event ... litter just sucks.


10-03-2000, 09:15 PM
I call it MEAN GREEN, when you have windblown leaves and trash. Oh man I hate it!

10-04-2000, 12:12 AM
After 20 some years of close observation:

#4(tie): cigarette filter manufacturers & plastic peanut makers

#3 : canned & bottled drink makers

#2 : fast food industry

#1 : the pigs who toss these items into the landscape

10-04-2000, 12:27 AM
I pick up everything but the butts. If there is a lot of it, I charge extra also. No matter how much you pick up, you will miss a napkin or something and then there's a thousand little pieces of paper to pick up. I don't have many commercial properties for this very reason. I do a bowling alley and fill up 3 35 gal trash bags every week. I'm also careful in the "downtown" areas about what I pick up. It's not unusual to find used condoms, hypo's, the little zip lock bags people use for drugs and other little nasties.

10-04-2000, 01:10 AM
If you wanna see garbage you should go to Japan, I have been there twice and couldn't believe the garbage in the parks and "nature" areas. For a country that prides itself on natural beauty it is unbelievable.
We have some bad areas here but most are good. I cut beside a community hall that does wedding parties and the underage drinkers throw their beer bottles in the grass for me to find with the mower.

10-04-2000, 01:36 PM
All i do is commercial work and couldnt see not picking up the trash, much less the customer keeping my company working for them. We have a older gentlemen in town thats cuts about 40 accounts and he dont pick up any trash and hes been cutting the same accounts for years, if i was to try that my customers would kick my a@#. Pick up the trash and figure a little cush in the profit margin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-04-2000, 06:26 PM
What i hate worse than any thing is foam peanuts!!!!they sux .i've got a law firm account an i don't know how many times i've had to try an pick up (lost cause ) blow them ,that suxs too!!best thing i've found is charge the piss out of them for picking them up an they WILL QUIT letting them get scattered out.

10-04-2000, 08:56 PM
I do the local YMCA. I just love when they meet in groups and do rock painting. No little rocks either, big river rocks. I was going up and down this huge hill(not easy to stop on) I think I have hit two or three in two years. Does a number on a blade!!! I told them they have to do something about it and they did , surprisingly.

10-04-2000, 09:03 PM
I do simpfosise with you guys doing resturuants, pizza stores ect-ect. We had our share of em, Cig butts, napkins, cig packages, and everthing thing else known to man. We now try to stay away from those and if we must we figure in at least 1/2 labor to pick up trash, Although when we where doing these astablishments we bought a Echo blower/vac and vacumed all smaller stuff up. We then relized most of these businesses where not to loyal and had high turn over rates at some locations do to freqent manager replacements.

10-04-2000, 10:53 PM
Oh yeah!! Forgot about the foam peanuts!! Death to ALL garbage men who can't get those stinkin' things in the trash truck!!!!!


10-04-2000, 10:58 PM
no man ...these chicks that work there don't even take the trash out . they just throw the empty computer boxes out the door!! BAD sceen ,just gotta be there!

10-04-2000, 11:00 PM
We usually try to blow the butts out and away. You could seriously spend ALL day picking those up. Seems like a lost cause, I suppose.


John DiMartino
10-05-2000, 12:55 AM
I do a big commercial job,fenced all around and they never empty the garbage,so the wind comes along and blows it all over and it gets stuck in the fence and you have to remove it before you trim and mow.Pallet straps,pallets with nails coming thru are normal sights on the lawn here.I pick up at least 2 5 gal pails a week of trash here,I coukd cut another acre in the time I waste every week there,Im glad i bid it high,no wonder the last guy didnt bid against me this year.

Hardy Enterprises
10-05-2000, 01:16 AM
I cut two McDonalds and two Burger Kings. The McDonalds are good about picking up the trash. The Burger Kings told me when I bid that they would pick it up. Well after I cut it two or three time and they still hadn't pick up the trash I just start adding $10 dollars to each of their bills. They have always paid it. Several times one of the managers has said that they could pickup the trash and that I didn't need to charge them but I have yet to show up and have the trash be pickup, so they have yet to recieve a bill minus the $10 trash fee. The best though is I cut a large industrial park. It takes 2-3 hours to pick up the trash. Usually 5-6 large garbage bags full of mostly beer bottles. I have been thinking about reporting the the company, that is letting its employee drink on there lunch break, to OSHA. Anybody ever tried to break up a trash problem using this method?


10-05-2000, 07:36 PM

Maybe you could try posting a couple of 'NO LITTERING' signs (or NO LEAVING YOUR D**N BEER BOTTLES HERE signs) and see if that helps. If not, do it up! That's ridiculous to have to pick up after a bunch of drunken slobs like their wives must have to.

I think I must have jinxed myself by talking about the foam peanuts. I went to a residential job today to discover that the garbage men must have actually picked up a container full of these darn things and then dumped them out all over the lawn (taking great care in making sure that they get EVERYWHERE!!). Oh well.


10-07-2000, 12:53 PM
I (used) to do this dry cleaning site. A very large operation that did tux rentals for a large area. Anyway, their "quality" employees would drive back from the local fried chicken hot spot after lunch, sit in the parking lot and eat and drink, then smoke and throw out those NEWPORT cig packs along with the chicken boxes and bones. Also the occasional beer, I mean malt liqour 40oz, bottles. I learned their routine, so I then would only go during the afternoon after lunch, pick up the trash, and just throw it inside all the parked cars that had the windows down. Chicken bones and all. It didn't take too long for them to figure out what was happening, and change their ways.

10-07-2000, 02:51 PM
Oh man!! That's a GREAT way to do it!! I would love to see their faces when they come back to their car and there, on the seat, lies their lunch remains!! ha!

We cut a residential lawn that houses a snot nosed kid who smokes and throws his butts all over .. So, my boss would pick them up and put them under the windshield wiper of his car. (I just blow them into their garage, when I'm there). Either they don't care, or are just too ignorant to understand, but there are still many butts about.


10-08-2000, 04:45 PM
i pick-up the trash,but i don't pickup cigarette butts i let the mower take care of them,i have been guilty of missing a piece of trash in the tall grass and scattering it,but i will at least blow it in the road and then the cars will take care of it quite quickly!

10-09-2000, 09:49 PM
Since the grass was so short, I decided to aim 2 passes (with Dixie) out into the road and rid myself of ALL the cigarette butts and pieces of paper. Worked like a charm! People are dirty slobs and make me sick to my stomach!


10-09-2000, 09:56 PM
I belive someone stated before me but ill say it anyway, We are no longer landscapers and lawn maintenance companys we sometimes can refer to us as sanitation workers also. Thats why we try not to do those companys.

10-09-2000, 10:09 PM
Well said! May as well give me a broom and a dustpan (and some gloves), then take away my DC while I do some real time consuming, tedious work. THEN I'll cut the grass.