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Monday question: Dogging the junk yard

Posted by Robin Abrahams  August 8, 2011 06:28 AM

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What advice do you have for today's LW, folks? 

I live across from a park in a Boston suburb. The neighborhood is mixed: singles/families, owners/renters, multi-/single family homes. I love the park & a lot of kids use it, but it looks like the Land of Misfit Toys; over the past few years, it's become a dumping ground. Parents bring toys that (I'm assuming) they no longer want in their own yard & abandon them in park. I'm talking small items like shovels & pails, to larger items like: big wheels, slides & basketball hoops. Presently there are at least 50 items littering the park & it looks trashy. Question: am I being Debbie Downer by letting the mess bother me? Is this the right way to pass-on old toys? Is this common in other towns? Can anything be done or do I grin & bear it while the nice little park becomes a junk yard?

The tricky thing about this one is that everyone in the 'hood has found a convenient way of getting rid of their trash while telling themselves, "Oh, we'll leave it in the park for some other child to enjoy." Any way of breaking the cycle? 

I'll post my response on Friday, and this Wednesday, let's tackle the bigger, messier problem of keeping communal space clean. 
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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