Arizona Republic Continues to Report About Litter
22 February 2005; page one of the Valley and State section
Headline: "Cuts leave freeways trashier"

AzLitter.org has learned that cleaning up litter is not a high priority for politicians. When politicians need to make budget cuts, it is easy for them to reduce monies allocated for litter patrols.

   "Arizona Department of Transportation has cut scheduled 
    litter cleanups from once a week, to twice a month."

AzLitter.org has learned that cleaning up litter is not cheap -- it takes money.

   "A request for $2 million to pay for landscape maintenance and 
    litter removal will be considered by the state Transportation
    Board and the Maricopa Association of Governments this month."

AzLitter.org has learned that cleaning up litter is not cheap -- it takes time.

   "I wouldn't say we pick up every cigarette," said Tony Becker, whose 
    Arizona Highway Adoption Co. has contracts for various segments 
    of Valley freeways.  "We wouldn't get anything else done."

AzLitter.org has learned that litter-bag counts mean nothing. If you pick-up all forms of litter, you could spend hours and never fill one bag. For example, it takes a lot of cigarette butts and styrofoam peanuts to fill a typical 33 gallon trash bag.

   In 2004, ADOT collected 62,497 bags of litter, up from 49,366 bags 
   in 2003, but still below the 65,228 bags collected during 2000.

AzLitter.org has learned that adopted highways are not necessarily any less littered than unadopted highways. And that a lot of highway is adopted for "marketing" reasons rather than a concern about litter.

   + 89% of Maricopa County 419 freeway miles have been adopted.
   + Loop 101 in Scottsdale in the most-sought after segment.
   + Hooters' has adopted five 2-mile segments and the 
     company pays between $175 and $200 per segment.

AzLitter.org extends a Thank You to the Arizona Republic for keeping the litter story alive.

In a nutshell, the Arizona Republic article confirmed a lot of what AzLitter.org has been Learning About Litter.


Author: Gerald D. Thurman [azlitter@gmail.com]
Created: 27 Feb 2005