Criminals you are; beware the “Trashy Ladies”

Published 6:21 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

By Bobby Tingle

Are you a criminal? Are you guilty of the crime of littering?

Have you ever opened the window of your vehicle as you drove down the road and flung or dropped an empty bottle, can, jar or wrapper onto or along the road?

If you are guilty of this atrocity then beware the guilt coming your way. This weekend you may cross paths with a trashy lady. She probably won’t arrest you or read your rights. There will be no handcuffs, roadside tests or searches. The worst you can expect is to witness her work, cleaning up after you, picking up your trashy mess from the roadside and all the while heaping hot coals of guilt upon your head.

They are not harsh, they don’t want retribution, and they just want you to put your trash in a trash bin. Throwing your trash on the side of the road is not an option!

Trashy ladies will be out in full force Saturday, February 24 in Orange. Annually this force of ‘super trashy heroes’ unite and permeate the city, along with their conscripts, to battle the forces of litter.

You should join them, particularly if you are a litter criminal in desperate need of repentance.

The late, Mike Hoke, declared before his passing, “The first and most significant source of litter are those criminals we call ‘litterbugs’”. Hoke was instrumental in organizing an annual event, along with trashy ladies in the area, to bring the community together, in an organized effort, to pick up litter. The first event, according to Hoke, attracted 103 citizens who met and removed litter from the Nature Classroom area and Adams Bayou. In 2009, the event became known as the Community Trash-Off. Katie Krantz, Education and Volunteer Coordinator with Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, has uncovered statistics indicating 20,000 pounds of trash was collected on February 7, 2009. Since 2008, statistics indicate volunteers are collecting more and more trash annually.

Is their success good or bad news?

It is good news when you consider the massive effort. Since 2015, more than 16 tons of trash has been collected annually. Scrap metal collected in 2017 weighed in at 3,500 pounds. Nearly 400 trashy ladies and their conscripts labored in 2017 to accomplish this huge task.

This is bad news also. It appears the ‘litterbugs’ are relentless. Wouldn’t it be nice if they would conjure up some pride and take some personal responsibility for their trash?

You can join the trash ladies at the 23rd Annual Community Trash-Off Saturday, February 24, beginning at 8 a.m. Invista is presenting the event. Volunteers can go to for registration forms. The event is supported by the City of Orange and organized by Shangri La Botanical Gardens. The headquarters for the event will be the City of Orange Boat Ramp on Simmons Drive. Volunteer group leaders can pick up supplies at the boat ramp then proceed to their assigned clean-up site.

You can also call 409-670-9113 for more information.

Fear the trash ladies your criminal litterbugs. Repent, reform and take responsibility for your trash. Redeem yourself Saturday by volunteering in this annual community event.

No one will judge you.

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at