Field Guide to Trash of Armenia

Field Guide to Trash of Armenia
(copyright 2009 - 2013)
All Photographs by Jeff Acopian

Armenia’a beautiful landscape is under assault on many fronts. For example, thoughtless mining and road building can destroy forests and other natural areas. There appears to be nothing the concerned citizen can do to prevent or stop this type of destruction. But littering can relatively easily be cleaned up and stopped. All it would take is the determination of each citizen.


This Field Guide is a humorous attempt to showcase the litter problem in Armenia.

Most countries have a litter problem to some degree. Armenia would most certainly be a finalist in a competition for “The Country with the Most Widespread Trash”. Armenia has an extreme case of trashitis.

Introduction (Trash 101 in Armenia)

Reference Scale

cigarette butt (always easily found, can cause forest fires)

The cigarette butt is used in most photos as a standard reference. This is very handy because everyone knows the size of a cigarette butt, so the scale of the trash being photographed can readily be determined. Using the cigarette butt as a reference has the added advantage because cigarette butts are almost always close at hand; whenever we want to photograph trash, there is almost always a cigarette butt close by on the ground that can be picked up for use in the photo.

A very good reason to curtail the habit of disposing cigarette butts helter-skelter, among other reasons, is to prevent forest fires. Some forests in the south of Armenia have been destroyed as a result of cigarette butts being carelessly thrown on the ground. And there are precious few natural forest areas left in Armenia.

Requires less equipment than for birdwatching.

Binoculars or any other type of special equipment is not needed for field observations of trash. It is easy to observe anywhere, anytime. For observing birds, binoculars with a power from 6X to 10X are recommended, or for butterfly observing a ‘close focusing’ pair of binoculars is recommended. Fortunately, when observing trash in the field, most of the time, binoculars are not needed. The sightings are usually right under foot.

Any day in the field is sure to be a good day. You will always have many sightings!

There are many opportunities to make good observations from car windows or while walking almost anywhere.

Taxonomic sorting

Kingdoms

  • Animal (Kingdom Animalia)
  • Plant (Kingdom Plantae),
  • Man-made (Kingdom Anthropogenica)

Families in the Kingdom Anthropogenica

  • Chemicalaceae
  • Lightaceae
  • Noisaceae
  • Trashaceae

Grants - Apply to Armenian Government

Species Photos of Trash in Armenia

(real garbage, not studio shots)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus plasticii ‘Rubra’ (red morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus plasticii ‘Clarus’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus plasticii ‘Coca’ (clear morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus plasticii ‘Frons’ (green morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus hyali ‘Clarus’ (clear morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus hyali ‘Brunus’ (brown morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Poculum plasticii ‘Vireo’ (green morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Poculum plasticii ‘Alba’ (white morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Metallum scopuli

Trash Problem in Armenia
Tabacum butti (grouping). Our reference species (see Reference Scale above).

Trash Problem in Armenia
Tabacum boxi ‘Dolce Vita’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Circumlaticium incindi ‘Flavus’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Circumlaticium incindi ‘Viridis’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Metallum cablii

Trash Problem in Armenia
Metallum spirae

Trash Problem in Armenia
Metallum pan

Trash Problem in Armenia
Metallum fericuli

Trash Problem in Armenia
Tegumen kaput ‘Rufus’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Sandalium mollis ‘Yes’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Sandalium mollis ‘Lady Slipper’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Sandalium mollis ‘Archie’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Sandalium mollis ‘Plantae’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Linea filum ‘Nylonius Contexo’

Trash Problem in Armenia
Linea filum ‘Nylonius Dilancinatus’

Endemic Rubbish in Armenia (Regional, National)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus plasticii ‘Clarus-Jermuk’ (clear morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus hyali ‘Frons-Kotayk’ (green morph)

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bottlicus hyali ‘Gyumri’

Municipal Trash in Armenia

Trash Problem in Armenia

Trash Problem in Armenia

Trash Problem in Armenia

Trash Problem in Armenia

"Landscape" Photos

Trash Problem in Armenia
Aquatic trash

Trash Problem in Armenia
Bags O'Trash

Trash Problem in Armenia
Sevan National Park picnic area

Trash Problem in Armenia
National Park forest area

Trash Problem in Armenia
Road Kill

Trash Problem in Armenia
Tin can and trash pile

Trash Problem in Armenia
Rocks and trash

Trash Problem in Armenia

Trash Problem in Armenia
Rare sights in Armenia

Trash Problem in Armenia
Unusual trash receptacle

Trash Problem in Armenia

 

Trash Problem in Armenia
Trash receptacles

Trash Problem in Armenia
Small bag of trash collected in about five minutes.

Trash Problem in Armenia
Outside the Armenian National Opera House


How would YOU stop the littering problem in Armenia?

Armenian Litterbugs: A film by 15-year-old Ani Acopian

This July I took a trip to Meghri, Armenia, where I met a group of kids at their local swimming pool. I went swimming with them, and soon enough we got to know each other. In order to document the littering problem in Armenia, I turned my camera on, gave them ice cream, and watched as they carelessly threw their wrappers on the ground. The next day I made another visit dressed as the "Trash Police" and got all the kids to clean up the park around the swimming pool. I passed out trash bags and to my surprise they actually were excited about cleaning up. I rewarded them with ice cream--this time they threw away the wrappers in their trash bags! I hope that the little lesson I taught will stay with them. The smallest act can spark awareness. The Acopian Center for the Environment made this experience possible and today is working to raise awareness about conservation in Armenia. Learn how to help the Acopian Center.


Range Maps

Range Maps are not included in this Field Guide because just about every type of trash can be found almost anywhere. GPS coordinates of documented locations of trash records are not included because there would not be enough room in the computer data base to store these records. Also, if these records were published in book form, “The Field Guide to Trash of Armenia” would be too large to be carried in the field.

Special Preserves


Mountain Eaters


Lake Sevan Plastic Bottle Preserve
(Of special interest is that one of the most endangered species in Armenia’s National Parks and Preserves is the Park Ranger.)


CarHenge (disposal of cars or imitating Stonehenge?)

Hunting is Encouraged

We encourage hunting trash to the point of extinction.