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Trash Talking

Think of wildlife before you toss trash on the ground or in water

Kind News magazine, October/November 2013

Remember to keep the environment clean and help animals at the same time. Michelle Kondrich/for The HSUS

Each year, countless animals are injured or killed by trash carelessly tossed on the ground or in the water. Even trash in home garbage cans can be harmful to animals who raid the barrels.

Skunks get their heads stuck in containers. Raccoons cut their paws reaching into sharp cans. Geese end up with six-pack rings around their necks. And thousands of birds and marine mammals become entangled in fishing line or are injured by fish hooks.

Keep the environment clean and help animals at the same time. Follow the tips below.

  • Rinse containers like sauce jars and soup cans to remove food odors.
  • Cut up or crush rinsed plastic containers before putting out for recycling.
  • Snip each ring on plastic six-pack carriers.
  • Rinse plastic wrap and put it in a closed garbage bag.

Working with city leaders

Michael Schaja, a volunteer at The HSUS’s South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had seen too many animals injured by fishing line. The teenager went to city leaders and convinced them to set up collection receptacles at the town docks for people to dispose of fishing line.

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