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RE: [GreenYes] Roadside Litter Recycling?
Christine McCoy brings up a very good point.  Although
litter pickups present a unique opportunity to recycle,
my guess is that very few roadside litter pickups take
the time to collect recyclables separately from other
roadside litter.  The irony of it all is that about
half of roadside litter is beverage bottles and cans,
which CAN be recycled.

I do know of at least one group that was part of
the Adopt-a-Highway program until they got tired
of picking up litter year after year for 8 years.
Here is a memo to CRI (July 2000) from Sam Patten
of the Audubon Chapter in Clarke, CO Virginia--
sponsor of the litter cleanup held several times
each year.

From: "Sam Patten" <>
To:     "Pat Franklin" <>
Subject: 	Recycling Statistics
Date: 	Mon, 17 Jul 2000 01:26:26 -0400

This is a summary report.

Road: US 255 (now Bishop Meade) in Clarke Co, VA
(Two miles from US 340 at Old Chapel to VA 620
(now Browntown Rd), a half mile north of Millwood.

Time Period: 1 Sep 1990 - 5 Sep 1998  (Eight years)

Total litter collected by type container:

Glass Bottles 		17,131
Aluminum Cans		12,088
Plastic Bottles		 1,195

(Plastic bottles were counted separately from trash only after
1 Aug 1995)  VDOT bags of trash--189

These figures are just for two miles of secondary road. Multiply
by the number of miles of roads and divide by two and you get an
indication of the tremendous waste of recyclable resources which
we tolerate in the absence of beverage container recyling laws.

Cans and bottles were recycled and trash was taken to a dumpster
site or landfill.

From 1 July 1996-5 Sep 1998 beverage containers were itemized as
to whether alcohol related.  The percentages of each type of
container found to have contained alcohol (beer, wine, or hard
liquor were as follows:

Glass Bottles		82%
Cans				78%
Plastic Bottles		 1%

Most of the alcohol- related glass bottles and cans were beer
containers.  These figures tell us a lot about who litters and
about causes of accidents.

FYI, numerous roadside surveys, including one by the Solid
Waste Coordinators of Kentucky (SWAK) have found that beverage
container make up about 1/2 (generally 40-60%) of roadside
litter when measured by volume.  The SWAK survey actually found
that beverage containers made up about 48% by piece count.

In case you're interested, the SWAK survey was conducted
because the The Kentucky Beverage Industry Recycling
Program (BIRP)published a report in February 1999 titled
“Litter in Kentucky: 1998 Analysis”, in which they reported
that beer and soft drink containers made up 7.6% of total
litter in Kentucky.

SWAK decided to conduct their own litter composition study
to find out for themselves what portion of the litter stream
was beverage cans and bottles.  The results of their survey
showed that beverage containers comprised 42% of litter on
urban streets, 42% on waterways and 54% on highways and
rural roads for an average of 48%.

CRI has other information on litter on our website

Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 702
Arlington, VA 22209

TEL:   703.276.9800
FAX:   703.276.9587

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf
Of Christine McCoy
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 6:40 PM
To: Recycling Works; Greenyes@Grrn. Org; Jtrnet@Valley. Rtpnc. Epa. Gov
Subject: [GreenYes] Roadside Litter Recycling?

Hello All -

One of our board members asked me today if there are any states or
communities that recycle materials collected from roadsides as part of their
clean-up efforts. Regardless of the workforce (i.e., prisoners, contractors,
volunteers, etc.). He's interested in seeing this type of program
implemented and we are looking for examples.

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?

I'm not sure how many steel cans end up on roadsides, but they could perhaps
be included in the mix.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much for your time and assistance in this matter.


Christine McCoy
Director, Environmental Programs
Rural Community Assistance Program
1522 K Street, NW #400
Washington, DC  20005
Phone: 202/408-1273 ext. 104
Fax: 202/408-8165

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