Wal-Mart: Not a good neighbor

Wal-Mart: Not a good neighbor March 8, 2012

This is Wal-Mart’s most common form of advertising.

Wal-Mart bags litter our community.

Have you noticed them in yours?

All winter long, I’ve driven past this field, staring at Wal-Mart’s advertising.

Hundreds of bags littered this field.

Disgusted by it, I snapped photos and twice paid a visit to managers at the local Wal-Mart store. Look, I said. Do you see this trash? This is your trash. It is littering our city.

Both times managers told me they were going to send a team out to clean up the field. We will take care of it, they promised.

Both of them. Both times.

But they never did.

This past Sunday was so very sunny and beautiful.

When Tim and I left church we decided we were going to go for a hike out the Gorge.

As soon as we cleaned up that field.

The field is not ours. We don’t own it. Our property doesn’t even back up to it.

It’s just an eyesore in town that bugs me. All that litter. All that Wal-Mart advertising.

So we spent hours on Sunday, walking that field picking up trash. Five bags full of Wal-Mart bags.

A lot of people drove by while Tim and I were working. I kept imagining that they would see us working and pretty soon it would be like a flash mob in that field. The whole town would turn out and help clean up the mess that Wal-Mart makes. Tim says that’s why I’m a writer – I’m delusional.

Several people slowed down and watched us. Some drove by us a couple of different times. But there was no flash mob of people helping clean the field. I was going to take a photo of the field cleaned but when I drove back by there today it was littered with Wal-Mart bags again. Not as many but they are there.

Wal-mart’s free advertising litters our community. But I’m not giving up. I’m sending this post to the city manager and to Wal-Mart headquarters.

Here in my town, Wal-Mart is not a good neighbor.

How about where you live?

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  • Loretta Gillespie

    Same here, Karen! Do you know that they call those ‘witches knickers’ in England?

  • Lyonsshare1

    Walmart sucks
    The life out of communities.

  • Next time you go to clean it, post it on Twitter or Facebook or here on your blog. People will come from miles around to help you.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Really? Why would they do that?

  • I’ve let that stuff bug me too, and thought the pics you posted were right around the corner from my apt cause it looks exactly the same. When managers don’t deliver what we expect or are told it’s bothering, and when driver-byers keep driving, etc etc… You are a writer Karen, so write — slamming the likes of WalTucky isn’t using your writing gift (and I hate them more than you, lol).

  • I agree. It doesn’t take a writing gift to slam Wal-Mart. A camera will do the trick. 🙂 But the goal isn’t to slam anybody. The goal is to enable them to be better neighbors. If asking nicely won’t work, perhaps public humiliation will shame them into it. But then again, I’m a writer. I’m delusional.

    • I’ve written more stuff like this and posted more pics than you, this just isn’t best use of your time seeing you are an incredible writer, that was my point. …My not so humble two cents.

      • Oh, and I’m delusional too so I get it!

  • Really? How does that work?

  • I have to confess that I was annoyed the other night as we walked along a busy street in our neighborhood because the neighbor that I walk with nightly had brought along a plastic bag and was picking up every piece of garbage along the busy street. My heart rate slumped well below the target 140 from all the stopping and starting. Then, I started to help her. I started picking up pieces and tossing them into her bag. To hell with the heart rate. Maybe a cleaner street improves my fitness level.

  • jd

    I’m not an apologist for Walmart.

    However, come on your saying that Walmart is in a concerted “marketing” conspiracy of littering your neighborhood with bags? It couldn’t an alternative explanation like people deciding to just throw their shopping bags out? I’d say that’s a leap of logic…

    And Walmart destroys communities? Why because they employ people from those communities and provide low priced goods for those who are trying to stretch their disposable income as far as possible? Help me understand the logic that “Walmart destroys communities”.

    • What I said is that Wal-Mart is not a good neighbor and that their disposable crap litters our communities, harming our environment and creating an eyesore.

      • jd

        I still don’t see how that makes Walmart not a good neighbor. It seems to me that the neighbor acting poorly in this situation are those who discarded the bags into the street or failed to secure the trash can lid on a windy day.

  • Danny Boy

    We have had the exact same experience in our City with Walmart .Returning the trash which we picked up to the managers office on a number of occasions and calling the regional manager has had limited success,however we have finally had the City Council have a public meeting with the manager where we voiced our concerns and we are hoping this brings results! Walmart cares nothing for the communities where they operate but they do hate negative publicity and being outed for the polluters that they are !