AA Leaves Footprints in the Sand

And by “footprints” I mean garbage (of course):

Illegal Dumping Angers Rural Residents

RENO, NV – Some rural residents put a lot of effort into cleaning up their desert hillsides, only to see others use them as a convenient dumping ground.

When that happens they get angry.

 No one gets more upset than Golden Valley resident Neal Cobb.

“I’m on the verge of burnout,” he says. “I’ve had enough of this.”

Neal and a network of his neighbors keep a close watch on the hills above their homes and they take it personally when someone else uses it as a convenient dumping ground.

Last spring he and others again spent money and sweat to clean up those hills.

Sometime in recent days, the dumping started again. In this case, an old boat loaded to the gunnels with trash.

It may surprise you this isn’t the first boat he’s seen up here.

“I’ve seen boats, pipe organs, video games, lots of applicances and some really ugly stuff. Once I picked up a bag of dead kittens. You just ask yourself why.”

And on occasion, he’s caught the dumpers in the act.

” I’m not the biggest guy in the world,” he says, “but they don’t get a story. I tell them ‘I’ve got your license plate. You pick up all this garbage now and if I don’t see tail lights leaving this area, I’m calling the cops, I’m tired of dealing with you people.”

He’s wishing he had that conversation with whoever left the boat. The trash inside is already starting to scatter across the landscape. In a few weeks it will litter this hillside.

But some of this trash can tell a tale. The people who do this sort of thing often leave clues to their identity.

First there was the California registration number on the boat. We don’t know if the boat owner is responsible, but it’s a good start.

We didn’t have to dig deep into the trash to find more. A piece of mail from a gas company, an attendance log for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the Stead area and a 2005 boat registration sticker.

We tracked the name and address to a home in Cold Springs. The door bell set the dogs inside barking, but no one answered the door.

The next door neighbor couldn’t confirm who lives there. So, we took our evidence and the boat registration number to the people at the county health department who investigate these incidents. We’ll let you know what happens.

Meanwhile Neal Cobb and his neighbors will continue to watch the hills. “I get upset when I see people dumping on this great state,” the Nevada native says. “I want to see their sorry faces in court.”

Dumping trash on the public lands is a crime punishable by fines of up to $5,000.

  • Swamibedpan

    Ok. Quite personal.
    Similar incidences occur where I live. We have exremely rare and endangered wildlife that is affected by that type of behaviour.
    I only visited america once. In 1986. I was mostly in colorado and california. I thought it was stunningly beautiful. I also visited yellowstone national park. It was breathtaking.
    People should not just dump their rubbish anywhere they like.

  • Swamibedpan

    I met a girl from Vermont. We hiked together for days in an area called the John Marshall wilderness. We saw bears, mountain lions and wolves. Take your trash home with ya.

  • In Holly Hill Fl our parks are the “dumping ground’ for the NA Daytona and AA Daytona
    meetings with the court mandated felons. They throw cigarette butts on the ground and
    leave other trash not to mention the ‘trash talk’ and harassment!

    I can relate with these peoples frustration!

  • causeandeffect

    Well, they can’t help it. It’s just another symptom of their disease, doncha know. Yeah, you know, the disease that makes them disrespect both man and nature. Yeah, yeah, the allergy. The allergy to alcohol that makes them behave that way even when they aren’t drinking. It’s a convenient allergy, doncha know.

    I’m glad I’m not a “real” alcoholic.

  • disclosure

    You know how AA’s like fire, aren’t you guys surprised the dumper didn’t torch the boat before leaving?

  • Lucy

    My evening AA home group was evicted from its strip shopping center home because members flicked cigarettes over the balcony onto shoppers below, because a couple of the members confronted liquor store patrons about their drinking, because the members left pot bags and empty liquor bottles in the bathroom, and because the building manager found a couple of people having sex in the storefront window. And, of course, the treasurer made off with $14,000 and the group couldn’t pay the rent.

    My day time AA group came close to eviction because drunks kept parking in the handicapped and expectant mother spaces and because I told the pastor that we had two sentenced pedophiles in a group that met upstairs from a day care.

  • C & E yea that’s right , they are powerless , they are always late for things ha ha they say, we’re like that …they say… like they are better then normie’s
    Many meetings have been thrown out by huge churches in Los Angeles. Maybe I should go to those churches and ask them what happened. Why? Put it on film …..yup.

  • Good idea Massive,go talk to the churches that already have thrown them out.

    Lucy-Wow it seems like this behavior is not uncommon.They just tend to get a free pass
    for bad behavior until some landlords or churches cant take it anymore.

  • Keeper

    sorry Causeandeffect, i don’t believe it is another symptom of the disease….just someone that missed the part where we get sober and change “EVERYTHING” about ourself,,,,,bit by bit, day by day. ya know what they say…. got a drunk arsehole you will probably have still have the arsehole once the person is sober. just plain old selfish, self-centeredness. and let’s face it…NO ONE hits the AA doors and is ‘a fine upstanding example of citizenship”. (and no one gets well overnight either. not that i am excusing any of the behavior, i am not, for i too am guilty of once upon a time behaving poorly, to put it nicely.) AA used to be about more than just putting the plug in the jug….seems tho some of the members got a case of terminal uniqueness and think they are above common human courtesy (not to mention most are used to having someone else clean up their messes anyhow. and even expect it of others)

  • Sally

    That reminds me of the so called principles that BillyBob puts forth in the steps. Basically it’s: Look at the bad things you have done, admit that you have done them, and make ammends for them. Never is it suggested that you don’t do those things anymore, just that you will be forgiven for it. That self righteous thought starts to take over and some people beleive that you can do whatever the want and as long as you confess it your doing the right thing.

  • SoberPJ

    ” Terminal uniqueness” never made any sense to me. The truth is there are parts of us that are unique for our entire lives. Fingerprints, Iris, synaptic configurations and memory and probably more are supposedly not shared by any other human, therefore making each individual unique. It always seemed like just another hollow and meaningless AA putdown to me.

  • AnnaZed

    @Sober PJ, that whole post was a hollow meaningless put-down. I particularly like the patented AA emphasis (all caps style) on “no one.”

    I see it all now. All of this time I thought I was different. I thought I was unique, but no one darkens the door of AA who is not as an asshole. I just didn’t realize that in spite of AA trying to hammer it into my head for years. Oh, thank you so much Keeper!

  • Lucy

    Anti- Actually, AA groups only get a free pass when the space for the meeting is donated. A real landlord enforces the terms of his lease whereas churches tend to let things slide for the greater mission of what they believe is a ministry.

    I know of at least 5 AA groups who have been kicked out of their leased space because they failed to follow the city smoking code, because they damaged the rented space, because the neighbors reported thefts in the area and littering around the group, etc.

  • It would be helpful to start documenting cases of AA/NA getting kicked out of a place.

  • SoberPJ

    Some groups have been in place for a very long time, but most groups are like Buchmanite Gypsies. They show up, camp out, wear out their welcome, fold tent and move on leaving some kind of mess in their wake. The list would be very, very long.

  • Sally

    Lucy, do you know who the proprietor’s are/were that kicked them out?

  • Well thats what we need is a very very long list to show others that they are not alone
    in problems they are having with groups.

  • Tallmike

    What a convenient opportunity for a new iteration of 12 stepping. Step 1: we admitted we were powerless over litter and that life had become unmanageable.
    Hi there, my name is….. and I am a litterer.

    Litterers Anonymous

    It’s not a lack of responsibility nor a lack of courtesy towards others property. It’s a disease.

  • SoberPJ

    Coffee Spillers Anonymous … I can’t stop spilling coffee on the rug !

    They should just go for the root cause and call it “Hand Control Anonymous” . It would work for every XA. Well, except for, ” Tourrete Syndrone Anonymous”

  • Four hospitals in England have kicked AA out, ostensibly because they needed the rooms for something else, but actually because they were not happy about the religious nature of AA and that people are told not to take their medication.