Condom incident highlights problem of high-rise litter

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 October, 2009, 12:00am

Property management companies in Shanghai are coming under increasing pressure to clamp down on high-rise litterbugs following an increasing number of complaints from their downstairs neighbours.

Residents jettisoning rubbish out of upper-storey windows has been a perennial problem in the city. But the issue was brought to the fore this week by media reports of an incident that highlighted the frustrations felt by those on whom the litter lands.

A first-floor resident of an apartment complex in Putuo district finally decided he could take no more when used condoms landed on his balcony two days in a row, the Xinmin Evening News reported on Tuesday.

The infuriated resident stuck the spent prophylactics - neatly tucked back into their wrappers - to the building's communal notice board. They were attached to a note bearing the message: 'You may not want children, but there's still no need to throw [them] downstairs.'

The man told the paper: 'I've seen plenty of rubbish thrown out of high-rises, but I've never seen anything as disgusting as this.'

The case - and the man's unorthodox response - sparked widespread discussion on internet forums and prompted calls for a clampdown. However, with little chance of catching culprits in the act, and legislation that can only impose a maximum 200 yuan (HK$227) fine, officials admit they are unlikely to find an overnight solution.

'It has been a headache for society for a long time,' a spokesman for the Shanghai Property Management Association told the Shanghai Daily. 'It is just so hard to pinpoint offenders.'