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February 7, 2023

Name your drain

Last year’s industrial action by refuse workers only served to highlight the longstanding and worsening problem of litter in Scotland. Keep Scotland Beautiful have called for a new approach to what it calls a litter emergency and a new national litter plan will be launched in the weeks ahead. For some reason, for too many people, litter has become someone else’s responsibility. Community litter picks aside, what else can be done? In the States, the idea of adopting roads and highways has been in place for a while. More recently, communities have even been adopting, and naming, storm drains.

One reason San Francisco hasn’t been too badly damaged by the recent  biblical deluge is that in 2016, the city launched a program allowing citizens to “adopt” individual storm drains to keep them clear of debris. Anyone civic-minded enough to take part was rewarded with official naming rights for their drain. Top choices include “Grate Expectations”, “Thirsty Boi”, “You’re So Drain”, “Watergate”, “Lana del Drain”, and of course “Drainy McDrainface”.