Trash Floods

Created on Thursday, January 1, 1970.
Filed under Miscellaneous.

Trash Floods are minor floods that attract peoples’ garbage. How are they made, why do they do this, and why are they here?


A Flash Flood occurs when an area experiences amounts of rain so large that it cannot absorb all the water.

Well I propose a new type of Flash Flood: the Trash Flood.

A trash flood?

Have you ever noticed how bodies of water sooner or later become dumping grounds? Have a look at your local creek and you will most likely find a shopping trolley or car parts at the bottom.

So for the definition: A Trash Flood is a minor flood caused by a large downpour of water. This minor flood sticks around for so long after the rains that it begins to attract peoples’ garbage.

Case study ##

Consider the pedestrian underpass near my house. When it is not raining the underpass stays perfectly clean, but watch what happens as Trash Flooding takes effect.

The underpass is very much flooded, but there is no trash yet.
(Above) On the first day of rain the underpass was flooded to a depth of about 30cm (1ft). Even though the underpass was heaps flooded, no trash had been dumped yet. Does this mean that Trash Flooding only happens to 'old' bodies of water?

The water level has sunk, to be replaced by lots of trash.
(Above) After four days of standing the water level has sunken considerably, but the trash has suddenly cropped up. We now have several pieces of debris, including a tree branch, two shopping trolleys and a broken single-seater louge chair. We can come to two major theories from this information:

  1. People dump more trash as the water level sinks.
  2. People are loathe to dump trash into areas of deep water.

Read on to investigate the above theories.

Shallow water and trash

  1. People dump more trash as the water level sinks.

The above theory can also be expressed as, trash rises inversely to water. It seems to work, and it can certainly be proved with the information at hand. So why does it fall flat in the real world?

The answer lies in Global Warming. As the polar ice caps melt and the water level rises, do you see anyone littering any less? Not really. In Australia, litter has stayed on more-or-less the same level regardless of rising sea levels.

The Deep Water Barrier

  1. People are loathe to dump trash into areas of deep water.

This theory also does not work. Think offshore sewage dumping. Governments, private companies and citizens regularly dump massive amounts of refuse into the seas. In fact, the entire point of offshore dumping is that people probably won’t work out that it was you who did it. Out of sight, out of mind.

Our cake’s dough on both sides

So if both our theories fell flat, then what is the major connection between water and trash? The answer may be right on our TV screens.

The media is to blame

I think that the media is connected to the circumstances in which a Trash Flood is formed.

If you turn on prime time TV, chances are there’s going to be some sort of crime or gangster show. And what do criminals and gangsters do?

They throw dead bodies into rivers.

Now consider the reasons why people are killed — they’re unwanted, they’re inconvenient, they get in the way. Isn’t this exactly what garbage is?

The media depicts the ridding of things that prove to be a hindrance, and this attitude eventually finds its way into mainstream consciousness. Now every time someone happens upon a body of water and has a bit of crap at hand, their thoughts quickly revert to disposing of the inconvenience quickly, before the cops get smart.


It’s been a long journey, and that was a hell of a lot of typing, but we’ve finally found what we were looking for. Let’s recap:

  • A Trash Flood is a minor flood that attracts peoples' garbage.
  • A Flash Flood becomes a Trash Flood when a person dumps a piece of refuse into it.
  • People dump refuse into Trash Floods because of their hours and hours of watching crime shows that depict criminals dumping corpses into rivers and other bodies of water.


At last we have closure on the Trash Flood near my house. When I walked past it today all the water was gone — and so was all the rubbish!

Either the council fixed the drains, or the 36C/98.8F heat totally evaporated the water.

This proves that a Trash Flood only has effect as long as there is water remaining, and further negates both the theories I put forward in the article’s introduction.

Now, some people might think that the garbage disappeared because of Council intervention, but I say meh. I was right. Don’t steal that from me.

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2022.