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A Modest Proposal to End Love Locking on Bridges Forever

Everywhere you go in Europe, you see eyesores like this:


Ever since some moron decided that attaching pieces of metal to public walkways was a thing, the scourge has proliferated. There are so many locks on the Pont des Arts that its railing partially collapsed last month

Here's my proposed remedy, which I might turn into a kickstarter campaign.

  1. Buy 10-15 bolt cutters. 
  2. Give them to the people who usually root around in public trash cans looking for deposit bottles to redeem for money.
  3. Promise these folks 50 cents for every lock they cut off and return to a central collecting point.
  4. Take the locks to a recycling center.

I bet this would have the entire bridge cleared in days, if not hours. There are lots of bottle collectors out there, they are extremely resourceful and persistent, and they have nothing but time on their hands.

You might ask: is this legal? I am sure it would be under American law. (How about German law? Help me out, readers!). Since the custom is apparently to throw the keys away after attaching the lock, whoever put the locks there has manifested an intention to permanently abandon the property. Or in less legal language, they've decided to throw away the lock in a public place. Which is littering, and is illegal. Removing litter is not only legal, it's a public service.

My proposal kills three birds with one stone: the bridge is cleared, the poor make money, and the metal gets recycled. I think I'll start a kickstarter project for this. Who's with me?