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Is Toronto inhabited by ‘a bunch of pigs?’ Readers think so: The Fixer

If Toronto has a litter problem, it seems as though the other guy is to blame for it.

On Thursday we reported on roadside littering across the GTA and identified the real issue: Until people stop throwing trash out of their cars, no amount of garbage cans or spring cleanups will make much difference.

It struck a chord with readers who emailed comments or potential solutions, while dozens more weighed in on The Star’s Facebook page with outraged reactions, finger-pointing and comparisons to livestock.

Debbie Mundier Moorman said that when she moved to the U.S., roadside littering was much worse there than in Canada. “That was a U.S. thing, it horrified us once there.

“Now the U.S. is clean and Canada is filled with pigs.”

At least one American sees it differently: “You should come to New York,” said Jason Paek. “We suck when it comes to roadside littering. Or we’re the best at it.”

John Stevenson wrote on Facebook that “Toronto residents are a bunch of pigs. No respect or pride in their surroundings. When is the last litter ticket the police issued, if ever?”

“To see someone walk out of a convenience store and causally pull the wrapper off their cigarettes and let it fly away is a breakdown of common decency,” Eero Nirk posted.

“Cigarette butts drive me crazy,” said Diana Lynn Bartlett. “Especially when I see birds drinking from puddles loaded with butts = Dead Birds.”

“It’s everywhere in the GTA,” said Edie Jackson. “We have fast food places every 10 feet and nobody uses the garbage bins and teenagers are the worst offenders.”

Kevin Harron sent us a long, thoughtful email about possible causes of the trash along Yorkdale Rd., illustrated in the photo that ran with our column.

He noted that there are no sidewalks or pedestrian traffic on Yorkdale, adding that trash is “more common when people feel the space is abandoned (or) uncared for.

“Beyond sidewalks and bins, a streetscape needs to be seen to be cared for; trees or other landscaping are crucial to giving an appearance more likely to make people think, ‘this space is important.’”

Stayed tuned for another column on whether littering is getting worse.