Before I went off flying to Cambridge this morning, I took a black bin bag and cleared-up the remains of several McDonalds 'Happy Meals' and some vodka bottles from the grass beside the tennis courts at Westgate. I did it because it was an awful, unsightly mess and rather than try and request a street cleaner from more important work elsewhere, it only took a couple of minutes to remove the eyesore.
There's one 'local hero' I know, who deserves a medal. Occasionally I bump into Mike Coleman when I'm taking the dog for a walk and he's picking-up litter from all places along the seafront that the sweepers don't easily get to. Why, because he loves his town, feels a sense of social responsibility and hates seeing the mess that some people leave behind them.
Elsewhere, I noticed on Westgate Bay Avenue, several houses of multiple occupation with black bin bags outside being ravaged by the Seagulls. The rubbish collection isn't until tomorrow morning and so why, I wonder, are the bags outside today when the consequences are inevitable with so many hungry Seagulls trying to feed the their fledgling young?
Tomorrow morning as happens every week, one flat in Beach Rise will leave its black plastic sacks perfectly positioned for passing scavengers outside its gate and by the time I walk my dog, a week's worth worth of nappies, fast food containers and worse, will be spread along the road towards the St Mildred's Bay car park.
Why not, I wonder don't they try and position the bags in such a way that the Gulls don't tear them apart? I do with my own and on those rare occasions when the birds do have a go, you'll find me or my wife sweeping-up the mess from the street.
It occurs to me that while Seagulls represent a large part of our local litter problem, a very small proportion of households represent the same. In my own ward I can picture some of the worst offenders and can predict where, tomorrow morning, you'll find the rubbish blowing around the streets as the Seagulls, with beaks like can-openers do their favourite work.
These houses or flats won't bother to clear-up the mess outside their gates. They'll wait for the appearance of a passing street cleaner, perhaps on Thursday, to do the job for them and once again, a large proportion of his shift will be taken-up with cleaning up after the handful of households that couldn't be bothered.
And so why we all share the same concerns over litter on our streets perhaps there's a version of the familiar 80:20 rule taking place here in Thanet; that 80% of the rubbish we see floating about our streets may actually be down to 20% of the households or less? I've no empirical evidence to support this hypothesis but wonder if readers may have noticed the same where they live?