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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Virginia’s Adopt-A-Highway program only treats symptoms of a larger disease (“Adopt-A-Highway: Left on the roadside,” May 19 news story).
Even if successful, it covers only a fraction of roadsides, most now lined with nondegradable materials just piling up. Glass, metal and plastic containers comprise a huge chunk of trash, so people need strong incentives not to toss such to begin with.
Michigan adopted bottle deposits years ago, and that trash is a much rarer sight on roadsides and in public parks. Someone collects it, or groups gather containers for fund drives. Machines often placed at grocery stores count and store items, then print vouchers good for cash or credit inside the store.
All lobbying against such is false economy. Recycling draws people in the store.
Add just the tons of aluminum wasted yearly, numerous alcohol-related containers, ongoing watershed damage and growing population — it generates massive uncounted costs.
Tourists don’t notice? Virginia trash management fails miserably with no viable long-term plan. Pick up trash? More appears within hours. No wonder volunteers get discouraged. Many places are too dangerous to work, and trash is potentially toxic. Hefty fines? Rarely enforced.
Virginia must start somewhere but, for now, Virginia just gets filthier each year.
Weather JournalEnd of the blog as we know it?