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[GreenYes] Roadside Litter Recycling
Hi Christine:

I cleaned a 2 mile section of a very busy freeway (FWY 101 from San
Antonio to the 85 Interchange) for two years.  We found significant
amounts of aluminum, glass, plastic and in some cases ferrous cans.  We
also found a lot of paper and plastic.  And a huge amount of single use
food containers from 7-11, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and the other fast
food restaurants.  That was the most disgusting part.  You also pick up a
lot of tire parts, lead weights used to balance tires. and other bits and
pieces of cars.  And an occasional wallet.  We turned one in that
included a $100.  Fell out of a motorcyclists pocket.

The realities of separating though aren't good.  Too few volunteers
working the stretch making the few who do show up, want to work fast to
cover the distance.  Each person carries a plastic bag that gets heavy. 
Carrying two bags, one for garbage and one for recyclables is really,
really heavy.  And the other hand holds a very non-ergonomically designed
set of pincers for picking up garbage.

An alternative would be to have one or more people just do the
recyclables, but the road cleaning rules, at least for FWYs in California
are to stick close together. But I think that process could work.  You
would want to get different colored bags.  Or you want it all to go to a
dirty MRF for sorting

CalTran who administers the road cleanup in California, a bottle bill
state, has no redemption program, doesn't mean it couldn't happen but my
guess is the average volume of containers won't warrant it.  Sections
near teen hangouts would also probably increase containers.  But not sure
if all roads would get you the volume.

The section I did included an exit to a major concert venue (Bill
Graham's Shoreline Amphitheater).  We found a lot of beverage containers,
often full or partially full.  Our guess was drivers ditched alcohol
before getting pulled over by the CHPs.  Not sure of the volume of
containers in a different setting.

A different suggestion would be legislation that requires all gas
stations to provide container and mixed paper collection so drivers had a
source to recycle.  And to hold fast food restaurants responsible for
their disposable single use containers.

Best of luck.

Ann Schneider

---- snip -----

From: "Christine McCoy" <cmccoy@rcap.org>
Roadside Litter Recycling?

Some practical questions:
 
1. Is it cost effective
2. What are the barriers (besides for education and possible
contamination)
that would prevent roadside recyclables from being recovered.
3. Are bottle bill states redeeming used beverage containers (UBC)as part
of
their litter clean-up programs?
 
Christine McCoy

------ end snip ------- 
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