Rich White Trash


The disposal of one of our county commissioners, with a plastic tie around his wrists and a hole in his head, in the Marshes of Glynn keeps reminding me of what a common practice it seems to be for our rich neighbors to throw their trash into public spaces, regardless of the fact that containerized waste disposal is a readily available public service.

It’s almost as if “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is an act of faith with our rich neighbors. Why else would their back yards, whether fronting on alleys or beaches or the marshes, be lined with yard waste and litter and trash? Yes, the tides return some flotsam to shore, but somebody dumped it or carelessly threw it away to begin with


Soon it will be a whole year that I’ve been collecting the neighbors’ trash out of our marsh. And there is no end in sight. Because, as the surface stuff is removed, more comes to light. Our neighbors don’t want us digging in the high marsh and with good reason. They don’t want to admit they were too lazy to retrieve the hundreds of golf balls they chucked into the reeds; nor that they were too cheap to pay the yard man that little extra to cart the tree trimmings to the land fill, instead of “donating” them to the tide.

Is it a matter of “out of sight, out of mind,” or do people who hoard money just naturally throw everything that’s unwanted, including inconvenient people, away?

Is the throw-away-culture a matter of purpose? Do rich Americans live just to dispose? If so, then perhaps the commissioner in the marsh is signal, rather than incidental. Sort of like that light at the end of the dock in “The Great Gatsby” was symbolic of a society dedicated to waste.