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Letters: Picking up after the slobs

April 17, 2013
  • Hans Svanoe, a corporate butler who was gaining weight on a job that required little more activity than making an occasional cup of coffee, took up walking. He then took up litter retrieval. He now fills two to three bags a day with trash collected along the Orange Line busway in Encino.
Hans Svanoe, a corporate butler who was gaining weight on a job that required… (Steve Lopez / Los Angeles…)

Re "Litter by litter, he's helping," Column, April 14

It was a pleasure reading Steve Lopez's column about Hans Svanoe and his service to the community by keeping his environment trash-free. Svanoe, who picks up litter on his morning walks, listed the "three kinds of people in the world" but left off the fourth: the people who see litter and step over it. Indeed, the litterers are "slobs."

I have been picking up trash and litter in my neighborhood by Aliso Creek for 35 years and have removed auto parts, junk motorcycles, furniture, tires, shopping carts and blue bags of dog poop from the creek and adjacent bike trail. If more of us would make the effort to pick up trash when we see it, we could soon outnumber the slobs.

David Wise

Lake Forest

I can't believe that Lopez actually answered a longtime question of mine regarding mindless littering. For years, while picking up after our dog on walks, I've also gathered up bags full of trash and wondered: "Who do these people think will pick up after them? The maid? The butler?"

Evidently, the answer is yes. Lopez found Svanoe, a butler who is picking up after these irresponsible people.

But Svanoe is probably the only butler, while untrained professionals like me also help in the struggle to keep trash from washing into storm drains and flowing out to sea.

Keeping our streets litter-free is about more than making one neighborhood tidier and prettier. Our street trash washes back onto our beaches or floats out to sea, enlarging the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch." Litter is a global problem that could be solved if we all were responsible for our own trash.

Beth Wagner Brust

Los Angeles

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