Season 3

Rubbish (S03E24)

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This episode’s vocabulary

  • All and sundry (phrase) — everyone; every person.
  • Wayward (adj.) — if you describe a person or their behavior as wayward, you mean that they behave in a selfish, bad, or unpredictable way, and are difficult to control.
  • To admonish (verb) — to tell someone that they have done something wrong.
  • Litterbug (noun) — someone who drops rubbish on the ground in public places.
  • To fly-tip (verb) — the term is derived from the verb tip, meaning “to throw out of a vehicle”, and on the fly, meaning “on the wing” — to throw away carelessly or casually.
  • Nosy (adj.) — too interested in what other people are doing and wanting to discover too much about them.
  • Overbearing (adj.) — too confident and too determined to tell other people what to do, in a way that is unpleasant.
  • Voluntary (adv.) — done, made, or given willingly, without being forced or paid to do it.
  • Mandatory (adj.) — something that is mandatory must be done, or is demanded by law.
  • Bare (adj.) — only the most basic or important.
  • Diligently (adv.) — in a way that is careful and uses a lot of effort.

We have also added these words to a “Quizlet” set for you to study and revise in your free time:


Questions and Answers

Maria: Rory, why do some people throw garbage on the streets instead of using trash bins?

Rory: Well, my initial reaction is to think that it’s because people are lazy and selfish. But actually, when I think about it more intensely, some people probably genuinely don’t know where to go to drop off their trash. So they just leave it out there for all and sundry to see. It’s still not a great excuse, though, because they could always ask other people for help. But some people just don’t…

Maria: What do you do if you see rubbish on the street?

Rory: I suppose it depends on the scale of the problem, to be honest. I’m not about to pick up every piece of trash on the street, but if there’s like a wayward bottle or a can or something, then I don’t mind picking that up and putting it in the bin.

Maria: How do you feel when you see people through rubbish on the street?

Rory: Well, to be honest, I’ve never actually seen anyone doing this. But I imagine if I did see someone doing it, then I’d at least feel quite annoyed. If I was in Scotland I’d say something, at least assuming they weren’t bigger than I am. And if it was Russia, I think I’d probably just pick it up, since my level of Russian isn’t really good enough to admonish someone for being a litterbug just yet. But I would definitely not be very happy about it.

Maria: Do you help in keeping the streets tidy?

Rory: Well, it’s not my job. I do my best to try and be tidy and encourage other people to do the same. I think that’s reasonable. At least in Scotland, the police are responsible for enforcing litter laws. So like I say, it’s not my job to do this, but if I saw a lot of trash or if I saw some people fly-tipping, then I would report that. So I suppose that would be me doing my part.

Maria: Rory, would you like to be responsible for catching people who drop litter in the streets?

Rory: Not really. I think that’s a bit too nosy and too overbearing. Like I say, I don’t think it’s the job of, like, the general public to enforce laws beyond just reminding people that it’s not a good idea to do things. I think that’s really something the police should be responsible for.

Maria: Rory, are you green? Do you always try to recycle paper and plastic?

Rory: I try when the opportunity presents itself. In Moscow, it’s voluntary and not very organized, but it’s mandatory and actually… It’s still not very well organised in Scotland. My parents complain a lot about the bins. But I think as time goes by, it will become more coordinated and I think I’ll make more of an effort as it becomes easier to do so. But I still try my best whenever I can to be green.

Maria: How green are you from one to ten? One is not green. Ten is super green.

Rory: It’s a good question. I think maybe five or six. I could definitely do better. Like there are some things that I definitely waste, for example. So that’s not so good, but at the very least, I’m doing the average amount of recycling, probably. I don’t think there’s a way to measure that.

Maria: And what can you do personally to help out with this rubbish situation in the world? What could be your contribution?

Rory: Well, I suppose the bare minimum is, like, using recycling bins, for example. As they’re provided. The other thing is maybe taking a few minutes to sort out the different kinds of trash that you have. But even then, people are quite busy and I’m quite busy, so if it wasn’t made it very easy for me, then I don’t know if I would do it very diligently.


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