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Report on the Adopt-A-Highway Litter Pickup Saturday, August 11 - What can YOU do to eliminate litte

What can YOU do to eliminate litter? Read on!

Mark your calendar: Saturday, September 15, 2018 is the next Adopt-A-Highway Litter Pickup on Highway 280. JUST THE FACTS: Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018. Location: Northbound Highway 280 between Meridian Avenue and Saratoga Avenue, plus The Alameda exit on northbound Highway 880. Time: Three hours – 9:15 AM -12:15 PM. Participants: 8 total volunteers. Sabine and I were joined by veteran volunteers John, Charlie, Crista, Diana, Pam, Ceris. No new volunteers this month, but Ceris hadn’t been on our team for almost two years due to work schedule conflicts (she’s a nurse). What we collected: 28 total bags, 3 of which were recyclable aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Plastic bottles made up 2/3 of the recyclables. Any cash? $.83 in change. Pam found a quarter, Sabine found a quarter and some pennies, Ceris found a quarter and some pennies. Oddities along with the trash (

  • A roll of Scotch tape.

  • A pair of wire cutters.

  • An unopened package of Maja makeup.

  • A refillable butane lighter, lying in dry grass, with enough butane in it to light.

  • A bunch of dominoes. Two workers picked up about a dozen; another worker found the packaging.

  • Two blue work shirts with the tags still attached. Unfortunately, they had been out on the road so long they were badly sun-bleached.

  • An XXL Calvin Klein men’s faux leather jacket in great condition. These sell for about $70. Somebody at the Salvation Army is going to get a deal!

  • Seven empty glass New Amsterdam vodka bottles, all found along a 50-yard stretch of off-ramp. Someone who uses that off-ramp has been tossing out the evidence.

  • A Brandy doll, still in the package. There is one currently selling on Ebay for $52. I am hoping someone shopping at the Salvation Army can look past the dirty and torn packaging and see the nice doll inside.

  • An old 7-ounce glass Squirt bottle. Squirt switched to the spiral bottle in the 1970s, so I’m guessing this smooth-sided bottle is from the late 1960. There is one like it selling on Ebay for $9. I wonder how long it has been sitting out on the highway.

BOTTLES OF PEE Hey, guys, what’s with the bottles of pee? I get that you are in too much of a hurry to stop and find a bathroom. I understand you can pee in an empty bottle. But WHY do you have to throw the bottle full of your pee out the window for us to find? This is becoming more and more common. We used to find a few a year. This month we found four bottles of pee along a one-mile stretch of highway. Can you just wait until you get where you are going and toss it in a garbage can? If it’s too disgusting for you keep in your car, then it’s going to be disgusting to the person who finds it on the freeway. PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE BANS First a few facts: (1) The small town of Bundanoon, New South Wales in Australia passed the first ban on plastic water bottles back in 2009. (2) As of late 2016, 82 high schools, colleges and universities across the world have implemented bottled water bans on their campuses. (3) One of our white Adopt-A-Highway bags will hold about 300 empty plastic water bottles and we fill about two bags every month with just plastic water bottles. Our volunteer Diana is making her own stand against plastic this year in her classroom. She plans to ban plastic water bottles and she hopes to encourage other teachers on her campus to do the same. There is a filtered water station in the hall outside her classroom and she has a collection of reusable bottles the students can use if they don’t have their own. She says she expects some push-back from her administration, but she’s prepared to make her case. Bravo! Every one of us can make a difference. Little by little.... Which brings me to my message: Each day pick up one piece of litter – a plastic water bottle, a soda can, a cigarette pack, a fast-food bag, the lid for a coffee cup – whatever – and put it in a trash or recycling receptacle. Do the math: if one million people each picked up just a single piece of trash each day and disposed of it properly, in one month our world would be cleaner by 30 million pieces of trash. Little by little... REMINDER: THE NEXT TRASH PICKUP WILL BE SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2018. Dates in the future: October 13 and November 17. Feel free to pass these reports along to friends and invite them to join the clean-up brigade next month! We are always looking for new volunteers. Loui


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