Lottery losers litter roadways – and Meth makers leave us explosives in bottles!

roadside trashMy garbage walk one day last week, up along Route 41 and my woodlot, featured a lot of losing lottery tickets – just more evidence that road slobs are losers. I filled one bag with garbage and a second with bottles and cans.

And then I got home and read, in the Bangor Daily News, in a news story by Anthony Brino, that meth makers are tossing their leftover liquids out along the roads and I should “watch out for reddish-stained containers and chemical odors that smell like solvents or ammonia, or cause eye or nasal irritation. Keep in mind that this stuff is explosive. Get a hold of law enforcement,” we are told.

Great. Now those bottles I’m picking up might be explosive. In fact, I did pick up a plastic bottle today that contained a reddish liquid, and I dumped out the liquid before putting the bottle in my bag.

Last year the legislature enacted a landowner relations bill sponsored by Representative Ellie Espling at my request. Among other things the bill established the Keep Maine Clean program at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, to recruit volunteers to pick up trash in the fields and forests and to encourage participation with a monthly emailed newsletter including stories about the program’s sponsors, volunteers, and good landowner relations practices, and regular contests with prizes for the most unusual items picked up each month.

Unfortunately, DIF&W lacks the interest, staff, and funding to launch and maintain this program, so I’m trying to interest others in doing that. Specifically, I’m hoping the new Landowner Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board (reconstituted in Rep. Espling’s bill) will take this on as their first project. And then I’m looking for a statewide nonprofit organization to take responsibility for the program, including fundraising and management.

A friend and I have offered to help, including doing some fundraising, writing the newsletter, and finding sponsors for the monthly contest. If you are a leader of a nonprofit organization, and have an interest in this, let me know!

In the meantime, I’ll have to be a wee bit more careful as I approach those containers with reddish-stained liquids. At the very least, I’ll have to sniff them first!


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.